פרשת האזינו – שבת שובה
האזינו השמים ואדברה ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי וגו' | דברים ל"ב, א'
Listen, O’ heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth
One year, the residents of Baranovitch in Poland, requested of the revered local Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Elchanan Wasserman zt”l hy”d, to address them on Shabbos Shuva, and discuss the pathways to Teshuva in anticipation of the upcoming Yom Kippur. Although he was reluctant to leave his yeshiva on the holy Shabbos, upon the insistence of the local townspeople, Reb Elchanan finally relented.
Shabbos afternoon, the shul was packed as Reb Elchanan walked to the podium, and began to speak: “We find in today’s parsha that Moshe Rabbeinu speaks to the heavens and earth and urges them to serve as witness to what he is about to say. ‘Listen, O’ heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.’
Doesn’t this seem somewhat arrogant,” asked Reb Elchanan, “that a human being, flesh and blood, orders the heavens and earth? It certainly seems out of character for a person like Moshe Rabbeinu, who is known for his extreme humility.”
Reb Elchanan paused for a moment. “However, in his next words, Moshe Rabbeinu explains himself: ‘For the Name of Hashem I call, give honor to our Hashem.’ Moshe here reminds us that he enlists the services of the heavens and earth not for his own purposes, not to further his own interests, but for the honor of Hashem. And for Hashem’s honor one can make use of the entire creation, since every being and every creature is obligated to honor Hashem!”
Looking out at the assemblage of layman, Reb Elchanan thundered, “Everyone wishes all the best for the new year, that he will see an abundance of blessing. But why? In what merit? For what purpose? If we wish for good for the sake of the honor of Hashem – a comfortable living to help us educate our children along the path of Torah and our mesorah, good health to allow us to properly fulfill all the mitzvos and raise our children to Torah and mitzvos – if this is our perspective, then we can rightfully ask for all the goodness in the world, and will receive it in plenty!”
We, mechanchim and mechanchos live our lives day and night for the sake of the honor of Hashem. By either teaching Torah and yiras shamayim. or preparing to do so; or by so many other responsibilities that are expected of us so that we can maximize our success in the classroom. Hashem should look at all of our misirus nefesh of behalf of His children and in this zechus grant us a year of health, parnosah, nachas and simchos.
A gut gebentcht yohr to all.