Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Nissan 5762 - March 20, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Speculative Perspective on Some Everyday Issues
by Pennee Lauder

Just stop and think! Some of the things we see happening around us seem to be truly detrimental. Even though we know that everything comes from Hashem and therefore, is intrinsically good, still we often feel that in some situations, things like punishments, of which we should never know, are certainly good for the soul but nevertheless undesirable and even avoidable.

Over the past few years, for example, we see the nation's water supply dwindling and our hopes and prayers are focused on relief. We all know that we need more rain. Do we wonder what else could be done to alleviate the situation? We certainly don't think the SOURCE of the problem can be dealt with by importing water from Turkey. That's a second-best solution.

The Water We Save...

Consider the fact that the tourists have been diverted just at a time when we could ill afford to let them all come in and shower (I don't even dare say `bathe') to their hearts' content. Just think of all the water we're saving just because they're too afraid to travel and have ceased bringing their various missions, foreign concepts and treifa money with them.

We have been taught that the contributions which a fundraiser collects for a yeshiva are utilized corresponding to the caliber of the donor and the purity of his intentions. Some donations are used to buy texts, pay the Rosh Yeshiva's salary or provide kosher food for the students, while other donations are used to buy floor mops (sponjadors), pay the dishwasher, fix the plumbing or other such necessary amenities.

So, too, we can imagine for what purpose the money which the tourists spend is used in Israel. Perhaps we're better off without it. Perhaps that's why so many non-Jews were allowed to make aliya -- to rid us of this ill gotten revenue! [How's that for perspective!]

Seed and Recede

Someone mentioned that the last time we had a winter with abundant rainfall was exactly seven years ago. Not surprising at all that Hashem should show us a bit of mercy after observing Shemita.

As a bas Avrohom Ovinu, I am always interested in the stories of his life. He was eager to offer refreshments for free to whoever agreed to praise Hashem after eating, but would claim an exorbitant fee from those who declined to do so. Perhaps this should hint to us that water, and indeed, all `groceries', would be much cheaper if we could get all Jews in this highly sensitive terrain to say proper blessings with pure intent. For if we forget a blessing or omit concentrating properly when reciting it, then perhaps we are required to pay dearly!

Speculative Backyard Treasure

Let's get on a completely different track. We know that the winds blow in the fall in order to shake the seeds off plants and trees and wedge them into the cracks and crevices of the earth so that when the rains come they'll sprout upwards and send roots downwards. If the earth had not dried up, creating those cracks, where would the seeds take root?

Now, imagine that as a result of the drought, some deep crevice were to open up and reveal a cave where the vessels from the Beis Hamikdosh were hidden, or imagine that they were sealed in a casket and dropped into the Sea of Galilee for safe keeping. How far below the Red Line might the sea need to recede in order to reveal such a sunken treasure?

In All For the Boss, Ruchoma Shain writes about a letter which her father received about 70-80 years ago. In it, the writer claimed to have found these very vessels and wanted to know what to do with them. He was told to close up the hiding place and camouflage it.

The house I live in, the first one in the entire area, was built around that time. I like to imagine that he hid the treasure by building a U-shaped structure which would frame the treasure and guard it nicely from subsequent adventurers. My daughter and I have a private fantasy that this cache is in our courtyard. Every time an old tree falls in the woods behind the house, or a flood loosens a few rocks from the retaining wall, we jokingly suggest that the treasure will imminently be revealed. Don't we all know that the best treasures are often hidden in our own backyards?

A few years ago, late on Tisha B'Av afternoon, we heard loud noises in our backyard. A man had begun digging with loud machines and we were sure he'd stumble upon the holy treasure. He was preparing a well for sealing the leaky walls of an underground apartment. Among other things, he discovered a buried stairwell which originally led into the apartment from the courtyard. How we hoped that on this auspicious date something more significant would be unearthed. We laughed at ourselves and agreed that he obviously didn't dig in the right spot...

Isn't hope inventive?

On another note, the recent torrential rains created a grand river near my daughter's house in the hills. She has lived in her apartment for three years and only this year was such a roaring stream created. It started several hours after the rain had stopped and carried on raging for hours before it petered out into a large puddle. Perhaps the new streams of water gushed into our enemies' stockpiles in the hills, moistening all of their hordes of gunpowder, flushed out crops of terrorists hiding in caves, or blocked the roads which were to be used for an attack?

The Better to See

I've been taught that when Moshiach comes, we'll be surprised to see the Redemption. It will sneak up on us in the middle of our weeping, worrying and wailing. Then we will truly wake up and see with new eyes the GOOD which has always surrounded us. Then we'll see that we were crying over spilt milk which was treif anyway, or that we got on the wrong train, only to find a long lost relative. Then we'll understand how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly. We should have known all along that only our great and omnipotent Father in Heaven directs the steps of man.

One year I saw that my employer would soon be forced to let me go for various reasons beyond her control. I was understandably distraught and tried to make up for that loss. I was quite worried and not a little bitter, understanding the whole time that my lack of faith was causing all of the distress. Now, two years later, I must admit that this has brought me to realize my talents in many other areas. Having questioned my role in life and being forced to reassess priorities, I have had some interesting experiences in the last few years.

May Hashem have mercy on all of us with faulty faith and bring us speedily, joyously and painlessly to the Final Redemption. Amen!


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.