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  • By Rabbi Yehoshua Weiss

Serving Hashem With Simcha

Parshas כי תבוא

We are now entering the period of preparation for ראש השנה ויום כיפור. Traditional Ashkenazic Jews will begin to say סליחות this מוצאי שבת. We mention the י"ג מדות, the fundamental attributes of Hashem's mercy again and again to realize first and foremost how merciful Hashem is. Why now because we are entering a period when we really need it. We are fighting for our life, our health, our finances, our happiness and the hope for naches from our children, grandchildren and those close to us. For those who need a shidduch, have been waiting seems like forever if somebody could just tell me the formula to succeed at all of this I would pay a premium.

ישעיה הנביא and חזקיהו המלך avoided each other for many years. חזקיהו busied himself building a generation so scholarly and great worthy of the משיח. Apparently he was so busy that he had no time to marry and raise a family of his own. When he became deathly ill ישעיה הנביא visited him and communicated the reason for his illness was he did not fulfill the מצוה of פרו ורבו. He explained his rationale. He came from a father who was a רשע and he knew that he would bear a child who was a רשע, מנשה המלך who brought the חורבן בית ראשון. What was the prophet's response? בהדי כבשני דרחמנא למה לך. You have no right to tamper with the mysteries of G-d's world. Your responsibility is to fulfill the laws of the Torah.

In the history of our nation, we have experienced periods of great fortune and tragedy. Those tragedies that we cannot understand if we are believers and want to remain believers we answer the same answer the prophet said to the king. If we are disbelievers here is our greatest proof that the world is random. A kind merciful G-d cannot let these things happen. The truth is both answers are false. If we read this week's Torah portion all is spelled out clearly. The most severe accusation Hashem directs at us is תחת אשר לא עבדת את הד' אלוקיך בשמחה ובטוב לב מרוב כל. The verse says because you did not serve Hashem in happiness, with a good heart in spite of all you have. We are a generation that has it all. The sky is our limit. Is it so hard to dig deep into our hearts and express a hardy thank you Hashem! If we just listen to the gentle sound of the שופר and wake up to the truth we will never have to listen to the deafening shofar, the sirens warning us to enter our fallout shelters.

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