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  • Rav Moshe Weiss

Nahar U'Pashtei Parshas Chayai Sarah



Dovid's Eyes

This weeks edition of Nahar U’Pashtei comes from conversations I had with my Zaidy, shlit”a, during shiva. Most of the body of the vort reflects what he said in his hesped of HaGaon Red Dovid, ztvk”l, but bears repeating. May he be a meilitz yosher for the entire Klal Yisroel, who heeded his guidance. The parshah begins with the departure of Sarah Imeinu from this world. The Torah tells us how Avraham came to eulogize and to cry for Sarah - interestingly, delivering the eulogies that bespoke her greatness before engaging in the mournful crying at having lost her. This was a departure from general procedure, which would have normally been to first mourn the terrible loss, and only then to spend time to learn and teach about the departed, and to try and glean some inspiration from their memory. The Rosh Yeshiva, ztvk”l, would explain that the proper order to follow is dependent completely upon whom is being spoken to. An audience that understands the tremendous void that is left when the righteous make their leave of this world can cry immediately, saving the eulogies for afterward. Avraham, however, was in the presence of the bnei cheis, people who could not properly fathom the tragedy of Sarah’s death, and so he began by explaining to them who she was. Once this was accomplished, mourning Sarah properly was possible.     Much has been written and said of the gadlus of my brother, Morainu HaGoan Reb David ztvk”l. His legendary hasmadah, his sharp and precise halachic decisions, and his otherworldly humility have been well documented. He was a pillar of chessed, a true friend to all who knew him, and truly caring of everyone who sought his counsel. But there is one tremendous maalah that he possessed that I think really set him apart as a leader in our times. We see in the Torah that the members of the Sanhedrin are given the name einei haeidah, literally, the eyes of the nation. And why is it that the biggest tzaddikim are branded “the eyes” of the people? It is because they see things that the hamon am, the regular people of Klal Yisroel, do not see. People of this elevated stature have a unique sense to perceive what we cannot, and to understand matters in a way inaccessible to the common folk. They know how to advise people to act in whatever situations may arise, for they can see clearly. This broad vision is something that made my brother, ztvk”l, a true leader and manhig of Klal Yisroel. He always saw deeper. He always knew exactly how to look at things, and would arrive at conclusions that would lead people to where they needed to be.      One tangible example I can give; an example of the perspective that Reb Dovid, ztzvk”l, had which was unique, and which he used to guide the Klal. My brother Reb Dovid grew up in communist Russia. He was not allowed to be taught Torah, and there was no cheder for him to attend. He did learn the entire Tanach by heart at age seven just from listening to my Father, the Rosh Yeshiva, ztzvk”l, learn aloud, and yet he did not know the Alef Beis! Surely, there is lesson in gadlus and in the importance of Torah from this. But also, this time in Reb Dovid’s life, I believe, instilled within him the perspective he utilized to lead a generation who did not see what he saw. He carried this experience with him throughout the journey of his life, and understood never to take America for granted. No matter how wonderful and full of religious liberties this country became, he never lost sight that we are in Galus, and there is a certain specific way for a Yid to go about his business in Galus! He approached his decisions and guidance relevant to everyday events in our lives with these lessons in hand. He saw past the surface, and understood concepts that others could not. If we can realize this greatness, then its time to cry for the loss of our beloved guide in this time of turmoil. And if we do not understand what we lost, and believe that our eyes see better than his, we must cry even more.   A gut Shabbos! A Project of the YSI Alumni Association Written by R’ Moshe Weiss


Nahar U_Pashtei Chayai Sarah
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