Monday, July 19, 2010

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

Its Tisha B'Av again. Another year of Kinnos. Tisha B'av feels very powerful this year. I mean, Tisha B'av has always been "powerful," of course, but this year it seems that perhaps, maybe for the first time even, I can truly "feel" the intensity of Tisha B'av. I imagine that I am not the only one with these feelings this year. I have heard in the name of R. Elchanan Wasserman הי"ד זצ"ל , who said in the name of the Chafetz Chaim that towards the end of the pre-Messianic period the pace of world affairs would become accelerated far beyond the norm of the past. I don't know about you, but I can't keep up with it. I wrote last week about the nisayon I have with my blackberry. To be honest, these days, more than ever, I want to bury my blackberry, together with it's emails, texts and various other assorted messages. Every few hours there are messages coming in about Eretz Yisroel Hakodesh, yidden in need of refuahs and yeshuahs, news from the Gulf .... As the Heilige Chofetz Chaim said, the the world is moving at a feverish, dizzying pace.

With so much going on, I think there is a tendency for the human "auto off" switch to kick in. I often feel that I'm just numb to the information coming in. It's as if I'm standing at the bottom of a waterfall of current events, being swept away by the current. I find this numb feeling very disturbing. If chas v'shalom, one is ever caught outside in the freezing cold, a person's body begins to get numb as the cold overtakes them, until eventually a person will fall asleep and then it's all over. This is how I feel lately. World events are moving so fast that it feels as if I'm becoming numb to them - "World Frostbite", so to speak, and the next logical step is to fall asleep.

As a Ben Melech, I know that my job is to feel. My job is to think. My job is to analyze. My job is to break through the heart of stone, to reveal the heart of flesh underneath. How can I do this? How can we all stay awake? B"H, HaRav Tzvi Meir Zilberberg, shlita, emphasizes over and over - we have to focus. We have to keep ourselves from getting distracted from our avodah here on this earth. There is so much out there to distract us from our goal. So much static to keep us out of "the zone" of avodas H". We need to focus.

So what should we focus on. It's back to basics. "Yeish Borei Olam - There is a Creator". B"H, we have a Father in Shamayim that loves us, and is the one running this show we call life. He's the one orchestrating all the current events. Every detail. The other day I saw a niece of mine that happens to have a blackberry that sends her "alerts" quite often. I never thought much about it, as we're all plagued by this. But at one point I happened to notice the alert that kept signaling her, and it read, "Yeish Borei Olam!".

For me, that's the key. The simple key to avoid the World Frostbite that I've been feeling. As the waterfall of events keeps gushing my way, I just keep reminding myself - "Yeish Borei Olam - the World Has a Creator!". And then it's all fine. Whatever is happening is all being orchestrated by the Master of the World, for the benefit of his children. And that makes is good. Rav Itamar Shwartz, shlita, the mechaber of the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh sefarim, amongst others, goes into detail about this strategy in Bilvavi Alef. He says to write this down on a piece of paper and to look at it periodically - over and over, until the words are imprinted into our minds and hearts. I learned the sefer a few years back, and my niece's more modern application of the eitzah brought it back to life for me, B"H.

My brothers and sisters, if any of you have been feeling the way I have lately. Try this eitzah. This Tisha B'Av - get back to basics - remind yourself - "Yeish Borei Olam."


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