This year’s Shavuos was a bit different than the rest. For us, it was only a “two-day yom tov,” Shabbos and one day of Shavuos, which was very good, since the temperature was over 100 degrees. And since the temperature was over 100, it only makes sense that the main air-conditioner that we depend on, which cools our main room and kitchen, decided to trip the power on Shabbos morning.
Thankfully, it only tripped its own fuse on the main board, so we had electricity, and air-conditioning in the bedrooms, but none in the room where we eat and play. So, it got hot . . . really hot. I ended up spending most of my Shabbos running around, trying to find a “Shabbos Goy,” but I was not being successful at all. Some were not at home, some didn’t want to come, and we don’t exactly have the biggest selection over here.
Finally, on Shavuos night somebody told me to go somewhere and ask for Bernie. So I went there and a Klingon opened the door! I’m telling you, here you have some overweight guy, with no shirt and long curly hair; I nearly pounded my chest and yelled “Kaplaa!” to him, just out of habit! It turns out he was a really nice guy, and came over and flipped the switch back on. We heard the beep of the air-conditioning unit, sighed a sigh, and thanked him very much. A few minutes later, the unit turned itself off and showed an “E1” on its display. The next morning, I found somebody else who was nice enough to come and turn on our ceiling fans. So we went from hot-oven to Turbo-oven. Thankfully, despite the heat and all the issues, Shabbos and Shavuos was very nice.
In the end, the air conditioning unit died prematurely (it was an inverter and the computer cards somehow got fried), and a new one will be coming in on Sunday (non-inverter). Then, we’ll be getting our new oven/stove, since THOSE died as well. Then, in the coming weeks, we will have to replace the microwave and dairy oven-toaster, since they’re nearly on life support (not bad for 13 years of usage). Thankfully, we’re all in good health, and that’s what really counts!
“And on the day that Moshe finished erecting the Mishkan (Bamidbar 7:1).
The Midrash notes that whenever a person invests his entire soul in a holy undertaking, Heaven is to reward him for it. For instance, even though it was Shlomo HaMelech who actually built the first Beis HaMikdash, his father, Dovid HaMelech, actually got credit for it, since he put his entire soul into preparing for it. So too here, even though it was through a select number of people who were the leaders of building the Mishkan, and also through the Jewish nation, who did a lot of the work and donations, it is credited to Moshe.
Somebody once pressed a certain Talmid Chochum to open up his own yeshivah. This person even offered him use of a beautiful facility already in existence. Before accepting it however, he went to Rav Shach. To his surprise, Rav Shach told him to turn it down: “A yeshivah must be built with self-sacrifice, not with luxurious buildings.”
I have seen, time and time again, the people who are most successful, spiritually speaking, are those who push themselves with all their power. I’m not talking about only poor people. I know some people who are very well off, thanks to help from their parents, but they use their time and energy to their maximum. So, while they might have an easier time, financially, than others, they are learning with as much power as they can put into it. And from this sacrifice, and yes, by pushing themselves, they ARE sacrificing, they are successful in their spiritual endeavors.