January 19, 2018

Dear CBI members and friends,

 

I am back with the Dvar Torah!!

 

I would like to share with you something important that happened to me last weekend……

As many of you noticed, I did not publish my Dvar Torah last week as usual. That weekend I received from many of you, emails, phone calls and many personal comments, asking: “where is my story and comments for that weekend”??  Many of you even complained about it….. I was glad instead of being sad! I said to my self: our congregation reads it!

Sometimes I am receiving your comments about it, but sometimes, for weeks , I am not sure if someone saw it….

Let me share with you a story that I read a few weeks ago: It’s called: “Silence Is Golden”.

 

One of the tasks of great Torah leaders is to inspire their students to fight for the observance of Torah and Mitzvoth. One day, the Chofetz Chaim received a visit from one of his most enthusiastic and talented young students, who had just returned from his first pulpit assignment.

From the uncharacteristically downcast look on his pupil’s face, Reb Yisroel knew immediately that things had not gone well.

“Tell me, my son, which vort did you tell to your congregation? How did they receive it?”

“Rebbe,” the young rabbi answered, “you always told us to preach to the Jewish people, to show them the beauty of Torah and mitzvoth and bring them to teshuvah. So I told them everything, every wonderful tale of teshuvah and Torah that I could remember. I spoke for over two hours, telling of this great mitzvah with all the skill and oratory at my command.”

“What was their reaction?” the Chofetz Chaim asked.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing! It was terrible. For two hours the congregation sat there not moving an eyelash, not uttering a whisper, and then, when I finished, there was no reaction at all. No one came over to give me a ‘yasher koach,’ shake my hand or even ask me a single question. What a disaster! I’m so embarrassed, I could never return there again.”

The great sage turned to him and asked, “You mean that for two hours a synagogue full of Jews sat completely quiet listening to words of Torah? No one turned to his neighbor to exchange idle gossip, tell an embarrassing tale, or pass a disparaging remark?

“The Vilna Gaon quotes a midrash saying that for every instant that a person holds his silence he will receive the highest rewards. Just think of the reward that you have brought them for two whole hours of silence, during which they were also performing the great Mitzvah of Talmud Torah by listening to your sermon. The silence was a signal of your victory, not defeat, for they left the synagogue with your words still on their minds. What greater success could you want?”

 

Thank you so much to all  of you who came to ask me to write my stories and thoughts again. It is my pleasure and honor!

 

I wish you all Shabbat Shalom Umevorach!

 

Rabbi Gad Romang