Wow… busy week. I hope my writing today is comprehendable.
We made a bris on Rosh Hashanah.
What made it more interesting was that there are no mohels in our city. There is one in a nearby moshav, but he could not come in on Rosh Hashanah. After many people made many calls, a mohel was found in Bnei Brak. So, we found an empty apartment for him and his family, and thankfully, he brought his own food. I picked up my wife from Haifa on Thursday, only to be told to bring the baby back on Friday, since he was a bit yellow. Thankfully, somebody lent me his car, saving me 700 shekels in cab fare. I then had to buy food for the Shalom Zachor (a “l’chaim” held Friday night), plan and arrange the bris, get our home organized, etc, etc…
All in all, everything worked out well. It was the Rav’s (of the city) first Rosh Hashanah bris since he came here over 30 years ago. It seems there’s a big thing to having a bris on Rosh Hashanah, followed immediately by the blowing of the shofar. So, we’ve become mini-celebrities, and may it serve as a merit for the community.
Also, for those interested, we named the baby, Simcha. It was a name we liked and is also mentioned in the Rosh Hashanah davening, where we ask Hashem to bring “simcha l’artzecha”, gladness to the Land. Being that we have personally felt some of that “simcha l’artzecha”, we found it appropriate to thank Hashem for it.
And one other thing, before I forget: Thank you to all who sent their best wishes. It was really appreciated by the Mrs. and myself.
Okay, on to Torah!
I saw a wonderful piece by Rav Aryeh Brueckheimer today.
In this week’s parsha, Hashem tells us that when we stray from Him, He “hides His face” in return (Devarim 31:17-18). Rashi explains this to mean that Hashem removes His hashgacha, His ‘personal management/protection’ from the Jewish nation, leaving us open to the whims of nature.
The Ramban, in his essay on Sefer Iyov (36:7) explains that this idea is not just limited to the nation as a whole, but also to individuals. The more one acknowledges Hashem in his everyday life, the more Hashem takes control over that person’s life. The more one distances himself from Hashem, Hashem distances Himself in response, allowing nature to take its toll. That is why, according to the Ramban, that it is impossible for harm to come to tzaddikim unless it’s been decreed by Heaven. These tzaddikim are under the umbrella of Hashem and are therefore under His protection. Nothing in nature can harm them unless Hashem allows it. Nature, for a normal person however, will have more power over a person, since he has distanced himself from Hashem’s umbrella.
From Rosh Chodesh Elul until the last day of Sukkos, we say L’David Hashem after davening, twice a day. In it we say, “I seek Your face, Hashem. Do not hide Your face from me”. Just as we seek to come closer to Hashem, we ask that Hashem reciprocates.
During this season, it behooves us to keep the relationship in mind. The more we make Hashem our King, the more He Himself becomes our King.
Have a great Shabbos and an easy, meaningful Yom Kippur!