The Gemara teaches us that the Second Holy Temple, which we've been lamenting over for nearly 2,000 years, was destroyed because of the baseless hate and dissension among us. Do you realize what that means?
Anyone who contributes to the love and unity among us is actually building the Holy Temple with his or her own hands.
Teaching is not an easy profession. The first criterion for a good teacher, says the Vizhnitzer Rebbe shlit'a, is that he or she love every one of their students unconditionally. Such a teacher not only builds souls (where too many uncaring and unqualified teachers destroy them, Heaven forbid), but hastens the Geula, the full redemption of our people, for he or she uproots the core cause of exile. Imagine the rewards above that await such a teacher - they're mind-boggling.
Rather than kicking the dead horse of depressing lamentations that people are tired of hearing anyway, I chose to tell you the story of a fantastic teacher who saved a young boy's dignity and his entire future. This story exemplifies the type of teachers - and human beings - that we all should strive to be:
In the middle of the wedding reception, the groom – an exceptional Torah scholar who landed the beautiful daughter of a prestigious family – asked for the microphone. "I'd like to say a few words; indeed, I am obligated to express my gratitude. First of all, I must thank Hashem for the privilege of taking such an indescribably splendid wife from such a lovely family. Secondly, I must thank the one person here tonight who made this joyous occasion possible…"
All the guests looked around. Who was the groom talking about – his parents? The matchmaker? Maybe he was referring to his Rosh Yeshiva, with whom he had become especially close during the past three years. No, he wasn't referring to any of these people.
"I must share my story with you, for it's a story of how one act of loving-kindness from a teacher who cares can determine a pupil's entire future."
Obviously emotional, the blushing groom cleared his throat and began to unravel his tale:
To further understand the meaning of Tisha B'Av and its relevance in current events and in our own lives, see my emuna-news op-ed, The Heart of Judaism.
Also featured this week:
Rabbi Shalom Arush - Time with my Beloved Father
Dr. Zev Ballen - Prayers and Dry Beds
Racheli Reckles - When Emuna Needs a Boost
Yehudit Channen - Hold Back and Hold On
Dr. Rivka Levron - The Gift of Forgiveness
Lori Steiner - The Missing Snood
Aimee Cohen - Make Me a Match
Enjoy, and bright Beams blessings for a peaceful new week.
We almost forgot! There are still a few places (that are quickly disappearing) to join us in Uman for Rosh Hashana, 5778, for a New Year's experience that you'll never forget: