14 Sep PARSHAS KI TAVO
Even in the Darkness
It isn’t hard to believe in Hashem when everything is going well. The trick is to believe in Hashem when you are going through hard times. This is hinted at in the brachah after the Shema. In the morning we say, אמת†ונכון†ויציב†” ,it is
true, established, correct…” We say that our religion is true, and we do not mention emunah in this brachah.
At night, this brachah begins with אמת
ואמונה†, “It is true, and it is our emunah…”
This is because nighttime represents hard times, and that is when one needs to strengthen his emunah and to believe that these hardships are too for the good. (Bederach tzachus): It states ,Emunah was lost, and it was cut away from their mouths.”
As we all know, midnight until noon is AM¨†and†the†afternoon†and†the†first†half†of the night is PM. The pasuk says, האמונה†אבדה†, emunah is lost, מפיהם†נכרתה
¨†specifically†during†PM†in†the†night†hours. Because when it’s dark, representing times of tzaros, it is harder to have emunah.
How can we maintain our emunah even when going through the challenging episodes of life? One approach is to focus on all the good Hashem gives us. Because even in hard times, there’s a lot of good. Often, there is a lot more good in our lives than bad. The problem is that we focus on that one tooth that sometimes hurts, or on that one small piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and don’t recognize Hashem’s kindness.
The Purpose of the Torah
In viduy maasros we say (26:14) עשיתי
ככל†≠†אשר†צויתני†, “I did everything You
commanded me.” That is a surprising statement, because who is so righteous that he can say he did everything Hashem commanded? However, if a person keeps the crux of the Torah – its primary lesson and goal – one can rightfully proclaim and say, ≠†עשיתי†ככל
אשר†צויתני†, “I did everything You
commanded me.” But what is the primary lesson of the
Torah? Rashi, on the words עשיתי†ככל
אשר†≠†צויתני†writes, שמחתי†≠†ושמחתי†בו†, “I
was happy and I made others happy.” It seems that if you are happy and you make others happy, you’ve kept the most important part of the Torah.
The Gemara (Taanis 22.) relates:
Eliyahu HaNavi pointed to two happy people and he told Rav Broka Choza’ah that they are bnei Olam HaBa.7 Rav Broka spoke to them and asked them what they do. They replied, “We are happy people, and when we see sad people, we make them happy. And, if we see people in a dispute, we toil to restore their peace.” This Gemara also highlights the idea of making people happy. From all the people in the marketplace, it was those two people, who brought joy to others, that merited Olam HaBa.
Hillel said to the goy who wanted to convert and to hear the entire Torah while standing on one foot, דעלך†סני
ואידך†≠†פירושה†הוא†≠†זיל†גמור†, “What you
would hate [if it was done to you] don’t do to your friend. This is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn it.”