Friday, November 2, 2007
Great Ma'aseh W/Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz for Shabbos
I heard a great ma'aseh about Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz from my rebbe, for Shabbos.
The Mirer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz, met another Alter Mirer in the Yeshiva on Friday night. He asked this other Talmid Chacham what he was doing for the seuda that night. He responded that he was hoping to be by the Rosh Yeshiva for the seuda. So Rav Chaim brought him home with him. At the beginning of the seuda, the Rebbetzin brought out the soup. After they finished, the Rosh Yeshiva asked that they be brought out seconds. The Rebbetzin brought out more. Then the Rosh Yeshiva asked for a third serving, and then a fourth.
Astonished, the Talmid Chacham asked Rav Chaim, while the Rebbetzin was in the kitchen, what had happened to him. He was worried that his holy friend from back in yeshiva had become a "fresser," a nosher.
The Rosh Yeshiva explained: When I give a shiur in the yeshiva, and there is a talmid that comes over to me after the shiur and asks me to repeat the shiur, it gives me a lot of nachas. Similarly, for the Rebbetzin, she puts a whole day in preparing her "shiur," the Shabbos seuda. In the beginning of the day, she had to go out to Machaneh Yehuda to buy the vegitables. That was one shiur. Then she went to cook them, but there was a problem with the oven fuel, so she had to go to a neighbor to get more propane for the oven. That was another shiur. I know that just like when I know that a Talmid benefited from a shiur because he asks me to repeat it, that I get nachas from that, so too my wife gets a lot of nachas when I ask her to repeat her "shiur" for me.
My rebbe connected the fact that Rav Chaim was so concerned with the "little things" relating to others' feelings, even during the exalted time of Shabbos, when one would think he would focus only on Torah, zemiros, etc, with a teaching on this point from Oros HaTeshuva by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook. In Oros HaTeshuva 14:33, Rav Kook writes that one must do Teshuva before Shabbos and after Shabbos. Before Shabbos for those aveiros that one did during the week, lest one come into Shabbos with the stain of those sins of the six days of the week. And one must do teshuva Motzoi Shabbos, for those "little" sins of Shabbos committed on Shabbos that weren't noticeable because of the great light of Shabbos.
It is possible to be so caught up in the holiness of Shabbos that one forgets about the little acts of consideration to others and their needs and feelings, especially those of your wife and children. One can also have impure motives and less than l'shem shamayim thoughts while doing the different good things one does on Shabbos.
May we learn the lessons from Rav Kook and Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz and not be such small people that we forget about the "small things" when we're working on the "big things."
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