Friday, September 17, 2010

Erev Yom Kippur Thoughts on Teshuva - R Frand Teshuva Derasha Part II

Regular readers of this blog may recall that during the aseres yimei teshuva I try to put up additional posts with summaries of teshuva derashas. This year there will (iyh) be summaries of two derashos posted during the aseres yimei teshuva - the Rabbi Mansour Teshuva Derasha on Wednesday and the Rabbi Frand Teshuva Derasha on Thursday and Friday.

Same rules as always apply to these posts. I have attempted to reproduce portions of the shiurim to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to the magidei shiur.

The night of Yom Kippur is not a mournful night, but its a somber night. R Frand recall walking the Rosh Yehiva of Ner Yisrael home almost forty years ago on a Yom Kippur night. And during the walk, the Rosh Yeshiva said absolutely nothing. The same person who could not walk 4 steps without discussing a Torah thought, he was unable to speak on Yom Kippur night out of fear of the meaning of the night.

R' Frand then told a story about R' Shlomo Zalman who was walking home after shul on Yom Kippur night and he saw a group of men sitting together, singing niggunim. This was amazing to him, but was more amazing was that the Tzchbiner Rav was sitting and singing with them.

Days later, R Shlomo Zalman saw the Rav and asked him why they were singing? The Rav explained that the men were holocaust survivors who had lost everything. They had decided to sit together and sing the niggunim from Galicia. How could he not join them in singing niggunim and trying to uplift their spirits.

R' Frand then told a story he heard from a Rav Rodin from Dallas,Texas. Rav Rodin said that he had a congregant who made aliyah and became a pediatric emergency room physician in Israel. One night when she was in the emergency room, a bride walked in. The woman was fully bedecked for her wedding, gown, train and veil. She asked the bride why are you here? The bride answered that everyone knows that a kallah is like a queen and everyone wants a bracha from the kallah because her tefillos are heard in shamayim on the day of her wedding. The kallah proceeded to give berachos to every child in every bed and crib in the emergency room. This is a bigger ani and the essence of erev Yom Kippur.

R' Frand then said that everyone has a part of davening that hits them. For him, its the end of the avodah on Yom Kippur which talks about what happened when the kohain gadol left the kodesh kadashim. This is based on a Yerushalmi in Yoma which details that the bracha included parnasa and other good things. And at the end, the Kohain Gadol prays that the Anshei Hasharon should not have their houses become their graves? Why, because they lived in an area which was poor and the houses were subject to collapse from mudslides. And the Kohain Gadol who could have been concerned about himself, or larger issues, mentioned them by name.

R Frand then told a story about R' Herman Newberger, the former executive director of Ner Israel. R' Frand then retold the well known story about how he was stabbed by a crazy person while R' Frand was in Beis Medrash at Ner Israel. After the man was arrested and R' Frand was checked out and was found to be fine, R' Frand went to R' Newberger and asked him to go the arraignment to ensure that the man would not be released. R' Newberger ran to Court for the arraignment. When R' Newberger returned, R' Frand asked what happened? R' Newberger said that there should be rachmanos for his parents, the people who had to live with this deranged man. This was because R' Newberger had a big ani.

R' Frand then talked about another way that we can get Hashem to change his attitude to us. R' Frand quoted from the Haftorah on YK morning, where it says - cry out and Hashem will say "hineni". R Frand said that there are 14 times in Tanach where the calling and hineni are used. Thirteen times are subordinates answering Hineni to the superior, such as Moshe, Avraham and Shmuel. The one exception is this Haftorah where the navi writes, we can call out and Hashem will say hineni. How do we get this closeness? The gemara says - hamikarev es kirovav - just be nice to your relatives.

The Maharal explains by quoting a pasuk in Devarim which states, who is a great nation? The Jews who Hashem is a close relative to. (Ki Mi Goi Gadol...) Hashem says that if you bring your relatives close to you, Hashem will treat you the same way. This is the Medrash the Maharal uses to explain the gemara- be nice to your relatives and Hashem will be close to you.

R Frand asked rhetorically - is this a needed message for a Teshuva Derasha? He answered yes, because there are so many families where siblings don't attend each others' weddings, where parents don't talk to children. Maybe the reason that our tefillos are not answered is because we don't treat our families well enough. Go to each others events, even family barbecues.

R' Frand closed by stating that he has presented two approaches to improve ourselves and our mindset - reach out beyond our four amos and help others - reaching up by reaching out, or as R' Chaim Volozhin states - this is what man is all about, don't live for yourself, live for others. The second key is to make shalom with those who should be the closest to you. By doing these, Hashem will come close and say Hinieni to us.

If you have seen this post being carried on another site, please feel free to click to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!

No comments: