7 Cheshvan 5781 / Sunday, October 25, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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Ronen, Ruth and Rabbi YZL    

Ronen, Ruth and Rabbi YZL

Perhaps in light of losing Ronen and the fast approaching commemoration of the Temples’ destruction, we could find it in ourselves to strengthen our love between each other…


Dedicated to Ronen Lubarsky, of sacred and martyred memory, an IDF soldier of the elite unit Duvdevon who was killed in a recent terrorist-arrest raid.


I was sitting and learning during Shavuot night in my Yeshiva, Machon Meir in Jersualem. Right next to me was a fellow student, Eric Lubarsky, whose brother Ronen of blessed memory was killed a week or so later. During an interview with Eric on Channel 7 in Israel, he made some key points about his brother Ronen:


He never gave up.


He was humble.


He never made fun of others during games, even though he was excellent in sports.

He didn't want the spotlight.


He was happy to serve as a soldier and defend the Jewish People.


He wasn’t afraid to fight the enemy.


During my Shavuot learning, I received an enlightening thought about the redemption of our people and what we all can do to bring it through peace.


In Tractate Moed Katan page 18, there is a famous teaching about matchmaking, the kind that takes place in Heaven before a person is born. It says, “Every single day a Heavenly voice emanates and declares, ‘The daughter of so and so is destined for so and so.’” However, according to the Schottenstein Gemara’s commentary, it explains that for a second marriage, the soul mate is determined according to one's deeds at that time.


On Shavuot we read about the epic encounter of Ruth the Moabite, who steadfastly follows and helps her mother-in-law Naomi after her husband Elimelech dies. Although she could have gone back to her own people, she chose to act by helping, showing mercy and giving in to a higher calling. This was a generation that greatly lacked kindness. Perhaps that was why there was such a famine in the Land, which caused Naomi to leave Israel in the first place.


Let’s review and go back to our original principle: all marriages are fixed in Heaven before we are born through this Heavenly Voice which emanates daily. But when it comes to second marriages, there is a principle in Torah that the new spouse is determined by a person’s deeds. As we continue the story, we see that Ruth had a second chance in life and merited to marry one of the most influential and righteous men of her generation, none other than Boaz.


Ruth’s commitment and determination to do what was right has profound implications, not just for her but also for the entire world and for all generations. We all know that this union between Boaz and Ruth led to King David’s eventual birth. He came into the world not under the original principle, a voice in heaven calling Boaz and Ruth to marry. Why? Because Ruth had been previously married. But now in her second marriage, which was based on the second principle and her deeds of kindness, we see the blessing her power of choice brought. Had she not done what she did, who knows how the Jewish world would have unfolded!? This is mind-boggling when we understand the consequences of our actions and power of choice for eternity.


Perhaps in light of losing Ronen, and the fast-approaching commemoration of the Temples’ destruction, we could find it in ourselves to strengthen the love between each other and act kindly toward one another.


Every person has extreme power for himself and for the world. It’s called free choice. When we finish the day, can we pinpoint any actions we did that helped others? By learning that G-d’s anointed, King David, came into being through kindness, doesn’t it make sense to fill our days with acts of kindness? Aren’t all the Hamas threats just a message from Hashem that he wants all of us different Jews together? Put aside political opinions; don’t we all say the same 18-blessing prayer daily? Is my Shema different from that of an ultra-orthodox man in Meah Sha’arim, or does it have different words than that of a Golani soldier guarding the border? Let’s focus on what brings us together.


Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz promised that families who help people, have mercy, avoid arguments and don’t fight will be protected as we approach the final redemption. Let’s take this to heart. Following what we learned with Ruth, if G-d is going to bring King David through the merit of kindness, then what about the full redemption of our people? There are opinions that the redemption can come through war or peace. What’s your choice?


If you are someone who has had a rough year, remember Ronen and make a second shot at life.  Let’s take this to heart and spread emuna from one side of the world to the next. The simplest person in one moment can bring incredible merit to the Jewish People. Follow your intuition and do great things.




In the merit of Staff Sergeant Ronen, what principle of Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz will you take upon yourself? Notice how Ruth fully embodied his principles for peace.


Help people.


Have mercy on others.


Give in; don’t make petty arguments just to prove you are right.


Don’t shout or push people.

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