Sunday, February 3, 2008

Milchamta Shel Torah - Video

This video is of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt"l, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir, and of Rav Leib Bakst engaged in milchamta shel Torah - HT to Gruntig

What I like about this video is that while these two gedolim are arguing in Torah, if you pay attention to their hands, once in a while they grasp each others hands like good friends who care for each other very much. It reminded me of the Gemara in Kiddushin 30b, "אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אפי' האב ובנואמר רבי חייא בר אבא אפי' האב ובנו הרב ותלמידו שעוסקין בתורה בשער אחד נעשים אויבים זה את זה ואינם זזים משם עד שנעשים אוהבים זה את זה שנאמר (במדבר כא) את והב בסופה אל תקרי בסופה אלא בסופה." "Rav Chiya Bar Aba says, 'Even a father and son or a Rav and his student, when they are learning Torah in one gate, they become enemies of one another. But they do not leave that place until they become loving friends to one another, as it says, 'es vaheiv vasufa,' Do not read "at the reeds," but rather 'at the end.'" Watching this love that two people having a machlokes leshem shamayim have is really amazing.

-Dixie Yid

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Anonymous said...

A few years ago, our younger son was learning at the Yeshiva Gedolah Ateres Mordechai (Metro Detroit---Oak Park, MI) when HaRav Bakst ZT"L, the founder and head of the Yeshiva, was niftar. Our son then hurried cross-country with a group of other Detroit bochurim to attend the large levaya at the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn.

I found the following story at:

"When Horav Leib Bakst (I verified this story with his son) was a young man in Shanghai, he was very sick from appendicitis, and he was bein hachayim ubein hameisim, and he had a dream that he was in front of the beis din shel ma’aloh. The Mashgiach, R’ Yeruchem, was on the Beis Din. They were arguing about who is more choshuv, malochim or people. Some said that people are more choshuv, because Malochim can only do one thing, but people can do many things at one time. They then asked him, what does he say, does this mean that people are better than malochim? He said he did not want to answer. They told him that he had no choice, and he had to answer. So he told them that this did not prove that people are better, because pshat that a Maloch can do only one thing is that when he does his shlichus, he does it with his entire being, with all his kochos. But when people do more than one thing at a time, it is because they are not doing the things they are doing 100%, they are not being done perfectly. Even for people, if they need to do something perfectly, they can only do one thing at a time. R’ Yeruchem said that what he said was good, and the Beis Din paskened that he will live. And then he woke up. When the Mirrer oilom wanted to make a shinui hasheim, he refused, saying that Beis Din had already paskened that he will live, and he will live, and there is no reason to make a shinui hasheim. They say that his life reflected that idea, of focus and dedication to achievement by bringing all his power to doing one thing perfectly. He used to say, “A person can only do one thing at a time, if he does it the way it needs to be done.” The same thing applies to the times that we should be focused on achieving kedusha, like, for example, when we come to shul, or whenever we steal some time from our daily activities to say tehillim or to learn, we have to focus on it to the exclusion of all other things, including society news, sports, the latest in jewish cuisine, whatever we plan to do afterwards, or whatever we would rather be doing, or whatever.

Posted by Barzilai at 3/18/2007 05:13:00 PM"

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Bob,what a beautiful story and a great lesson. Thank you so much for sharing that! And B"H, your son was zoeche to learn there while R' Bakst was still alive. Thank you again for posting that story.

-Dixie Yid