22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
 
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The Kind Thief    

The Kind Thief



Hashem does everything for the best. Were it not for a thief, the pious Mashgiach of Mir, Rav Yechezkel Levenstein zatza"l, would have been a storekeeper…

 



The foundation of emuna, as is well known, is: everything Hashem does is for the best. Many of us know this life-saving teaching, yet we still struggle to internalize it. First, we must understand that this internalization requires a daily strengthening, just like exercise. Second, we should know that an increase in emuna occurs gradually, and there will never be a time when we'll wake up and suddenly be blessed with perfect emuna.

 

It is said that after the Moshiach comes, we will all be able to see that everything in our lives happened indeed for our best. Until then, we must try our hardest to strengthen our faith muscles with our daily one hour of personal prayer. This is the only way- there are no shortcuts.

 

Here is a great story from Maran HaGaon Rav Gershon Edelstein shlit”a, Rosh Yeshivas Ponevezh, that illustrates the benefits of having strong emuna.

 

When Rav Yechezkel Levenstein zatza”l, Mashgiach of the Mir Yeshiva, was very old, he was unable to learn. He had a daily practice throughout his life of asking himself at each moment, “What does Hashem want me to do now?”

 

One day, he asked Rav David Yungreiz zatza”l what he should do, since he could not learn any more. Rav David quoted a portion of Tehillim, which states: “And they should contemplate the kindnesses of Hashem.”

 

Rav Levenstein thought about this sentence for a while, and suddenly exclaimed, “What a kindness it was that I was robbed!”

 

He explained that when he was a young orphan, he worked as a messenger in a flower store to support his family. He saved his money over the years, and eventually saved up enough to start his own business.

 

One Motzei Shabbat, he finally decided that the time was right. The following Friday afternoon, he made his usual pre-Shabbat trip to the mikvah. As he was immersing, his belongings were left unattended, and when he returned to get dressed, he realized that a thief had stolen his entire savings out of his jacket pocket!

 

Being a man blessed with spiritual eyesight, he said to himself: “This shows that money is worth nothing, as it can be stolen. However, Torah can never be stolen! I will therefore go to the Yeshiva in Lomza and learn Torah.”

 

Hashem's kindness sent a thief in order to stop Rav Yechezkel from being a businessman, and instead put him on the road to becoming the Mashgiach!

 

May we all be blessed with strengthening our spiritual eyesight, and know that even the worst and most trying circumstances are only put into our lives in order to help us achieve our ultimate goals, Amen.

 

 





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