Page 2 - HAMIZRACHI #4-RH-USA-flipbook_Neat
P. 2

Reality                                                Rabbi David Israel

Israel and                                   Check

A fter making Aliyah in 1905,                Shabbat, I don’t know if I would be able   nothing, the Midrash tells us that
           Rabbi Aryeh Levin (1885-          to pass the nisayon – this test of making  Avraham was accosted by the Satan.
           1969) soon became known as        so much money in so few hours – and        He asks Avraham questions, ‘Are you
the “Tzaddik of Jerusalem,” due to his       close the store!”                          going to sacrifice your son given to
care and concern for the poor, sick and      There are many lessons about being         you at 100 years old?’ and appears as
lepers.                                      humble, kind, soft-spoken and gentle       an impenetrable river. As Nechama
Many anecdotes about his greatness           that can be learned from this tale. Yet    Leibowitz so powerfully points out,
have been written down for posterity,        perhaps most powerful for us at this time  these questions and impediments are
including the following, which occurred      of the year is that it provides us with a  really Avraham’s own struggle; his
on a particularly hot Friday afternoon       “reality check” about our own struggles    doubts as he makes his way to sacrifice
in Jerusalem. As Reb Aryeh was walking       with imperfection and doubt.               his son. And yet Avraham pushes himself
to shul in preparation for Shabbat, he       Taken at his word, the Tzaddik of          and moves forward to fulfill the word of
passed a small ice cream store with a        Jerusalem shared his own doubts, his       G-d he had heard so clearly.
line of customers extending out the door     own struggles with materialism, with       What makes a person a Gadol is not the
and down the street. The owner was           the store owner. And he was a “Gadol”      lack of doubt and struggle. It is davka
fully focused on meeting the demand          who himself lived in the most meager of    the way he copes with those doubts and
and, given the difficult economic            dwellings.                                 struggles. Spiritual growth is not about
circumstances of the time, must have         Indeed, the Akeidah we read about          hiding our worries and inner battles.
been quite pleased at the sight outside      on Rosh Hashanah also tells a story of     Indeed, what makes one worthy of
his store.                                   struggle and doubt, though one does        G-d’s blessings is being able to openly
Aware of the approaching Shabbat and         not see it in the verses themselves.       acknowledge one’s fears and doubts
the owner’s distraction, Reb Aryeh           They merely tell us that Avraham got       and yet still move forward to fulfill His
walked into the store and whispered          up, walked and arrived at the site of      Torah and mitzvot.
in the man’s ear. Soon the store was         the Akeidah three days later: “…and        May the year ahead be one of moving
shuttered and the owner walked to shul.      (Avraham) arose and went to the place      forward, of personal growth and of
One of the students walking with Reb         of which G-d had spoken. On the third      increased Torah study and mitzvah
Aryeh asked him what he had said to the      day, Avraham lifted his eyes and saw the   observance.
man.                                         place from afar.” (Genesis 22:3-4)

Rav Aryeh replied, “I told him that if I     Midrash Tanchuma paints a very             Rabbi David Israel is the Executive
was in his situation, as owner of the store  different picture. During those three      Vice-President of Religious Zionists of
with all of these customers so close to      days about which the Torah says            America–Mizrachi

   305 Seventh Avenue‎ Presidium                 3740 W. Dempster Co-Presidents                                209-286-7141

2  Room 1200,          Dr. Ernest Agatstein      Skokie, IL 60076                       Alan Gershman
   New York, NY 10001  Rabbi Leonard Matanky     847-674-9733                           Dr. Oren Lakser        Co-Presidents
   212-465-9234        Martin Oliner                             Executive Director     Dr. Yakov Agatstein      Executive Vice-President                             Rabbi Jerold Isenberg  Dr. Ernest Agatstein         Rabbi David A. Israel
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7