Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Pesach

Something Great and Awesome

By Rabbi Label Lam

There is a story about Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaria, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon who assembled in Bnei Brak. They were so absorbed in telling the story of the exodus from Egypt that the entire night passed when their students came over and said to them; “Our masters, it is time to recite the morning SHEMA!” (Haggada)

Behold I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day. (Malachi 3:23) (Haftora for Shabbos HaGadol)

Here we have the last words of the last historical prophet pointing the final day of history and declaring that it is “great” and “awesome” and the “the day of HASHEM”. Rabbi Aaron Kotler ztl asked about this description offered by the prophet Malachi, “What’s so great and awesome about that final day?”

What can be more awesome than, for example the Days of Awe, Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur when determinations about life and death and livelihood lie in the balance? What can be more frightening than the unavoidable life review we all must eventually face when our entire lives are before HASHEM and His ultimate throne of justice?

Answers Reb Aaron that let’s say there’s a person named Rashi who was born in 1040 and passed on in 1105, almost thousand years ago, and in his less than seventy years on this earth he built a wine business, learned Torah, taught Torah raised a couple of daughters. Every year on the High Holy Days like so many others he prayed with fervent hope for his own personal wellbeing and the success of the Jewish People. After his time was up his soul ascended to the Heavens and there he gave a detailed account of his honesty in business and as to what kind of husband, father, neighbor, friend, and servant of HASHEM he had been.

What’s more awesome than that?! King Solomon says in Mishlei, “Pri Tzadik Eitz Chaim- The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life”. Realizing that he has a limited time to live and act on earth, Rashi had the foresight, the wisdom, the mazal to marry his daughters to extraordinary Talmud Scholars, the Baale’ Tosfos, and they made a career scrutinizing the notebook of commentaries their father in-law Rashi had carefully scripted on the entire Talmud and Tanach. For the next one thousand years every person who has learned Torah properly and observed Mitzvos with precision has done so with Rashi’s help. It’s as if Rashi is still teaching. He is more alive today than ever.

When the final buzzer of history rings on the last day the tally of Mitzvos and Torah learning credited to that one man based upon the cumulative impact of his life over the many generations adds up to something so incalculable so as to be titled “great and awesome”.

On the flip side there was a person name Marx, Karl Marx. He wrote a bible of his own, a manifesto that gave license to Lenin and Stalin and Mao to eradicate what he called the “opiate of the masses”. They spread out an iron curtain and a wet blanket that snuffed the light of religiosity out of a quarter of humanity for almost a century, including millions of Jews who were left stripped of thousands of years of tradition. We cannot fathom the ever widening angle of darkness that continues to expand from this fallacious theory over time. The negative result is frighteningly “great and awesome”.

The secret is that Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar Ben Azaria, Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Tarfon were so enthused at the Seder, talking about the Exodus from Egypt that the wake from their influence is kept alive till the dawn of history when their students, of all time, come to remind them of something great and awesome.


DvarTorah, Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Label Lam and Torah.org.


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Be a Holy Nation!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

“Letter to my Son Akiva”
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

Naturally! (Not)
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

The Fundamental Rule
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

> A Sacred Appointment
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

...And Hear It We Must
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Love Your Neighbor: Who Needs Friends?
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Holiness Happens
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Kiddush Moments
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

ArtScroll

The Third Rail
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Appreciating the Value of the Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

The Counting of the Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information