Profanity, Introspection and Guidance By Greatness

Here is an excerpt from Annual Dinner Address of Rabbi Avrohom Ausband, the Rosh HaYeshiva of the Yeshiva of the Telshe Alumni in Riverdale:

The Gra in Shir HaShirim tells us that the pasuk compares the Gedolei Yisroel—our guiding lights—to the beams of a house, while the general population is referred to as the slats that fill in the gaps. We understand that we cannot build a house without slats and the importance of every individual cannot be overstated. At the same time, we must not forget that the strength and the vision must come from the Gedolim who are the purveyors of the truth — the “beams” and our guiding lights.

There was a Jew in Toronto who was in the midst of negotiating a business deal, and was in constant contact with the lawyer from the other side. However, the lawyer’s language was so repulsive to him to the extent that he forfeited the entire deal. He also took the time to clarify the reason for his position by expressing his displeasure to the parties involved.

Two weeks later, the lawyer called the businessman and said that what happened had affected him to his very core, and he would like some guidance on how to improve his language. The businessman set him up with a chavrusa who would learn with him once-a-week. From there things progressed and eventually this lawyer became a sincere Baal Teshuva.

There was one hitch though. His wife was not on board with this extreme lifestyle change, and this brought tremendous tension into their marriage. His original contact suggested that they take a trip to Eretz Yisroel together and discuss the issue with Ray Shach. The lawyer agreed, but had serious misgivings about the presumed outcome. He assumed that Rav Shach would come down hard on his wife’s attitude and he could not picture himself presenting her with the decision of an old rabbi from Bnei Brak.

Upon arriving in Eretz Yisroel they went directly to Bnei Brak. Rav Shach listened to his story and inquired about the timing of his return trip. “This is a difficult question and I need some time to think about it.” When they returned, the response he got not only surprised him but also astounded him as to the clarity of its thinking. “Your wife married you on the premise that there’s no Shabbos. She is being the logical one in asking you to maintain the status quo. You are only entitled to ask her for a favor to accommodate you on something that pertains to your personal life.”

When he arrived home his wife’s greeting was: “So you’re divorcing me?” Today, she wears a sheitel and their children are all frum!

This is the clarity of the beams. This is where truth shines through in a world of darkness. And this is what a yeshiva is all about!

May we all merit to find the truth that is obscured in our world and one day clearly see the realization of Hashem Echad U’shmo Echad!