Now You Know The Rest Of The Story..........
The Torah Matzav
Friday, March 31, 2023
Most amazing message
לז"נ הרב משה אלון
(קלווארי) זצ"ל איש
החסד ורודף צדקה יום
amazing, inspiring, & powerful *message.
My dear child,
It is now a quiet moment late at night. After an exhausting day
of Passover cleaning, you have sunk into the sweetest
of sleep, and I am sitting here with a pile of haggadas,
preparing for Seder night. Somehow the words never
come out the way I want them to, and the Seder evening
is always unpredictable. But so many thoughts and
feelings are welling up in my mind and I want to
share them with you.
These are the
words I mean to say at the Seder. When you will see
me at the Seder dressed in Kittell, the same plain
white garment is worn on Yom Kippur, your first question
will be, “Why are you dressed like this?”
Because it is
Yom Kippur, a day of reckoning. You see, each one of us
has a double role. First and foremost we are human
beings, creatures in the image of God, and on Yom Kippur,
we are examined if indeed we are worthy of that
But we are
also components of Klal Yisrael, the Jewish People, links
in a chain that started over 3,000 years ago and will
make it to the finish line of the end of times. It is a relay
race where a torch is passed on through all the ages, and
it is our charge, to take it from the one before and
pass it on to the one after.
Tonight we are
being judged as to how well we have received our
tradition and how well we are passing it on.
It is now
3,300 years since we received that freedom in Egypt. If we
imagine the average age of having a child to be about 25
years of age, there are four generations each century.
That means there is a total of 132 people stretching
from our forefathers in Egypt to us today. 132 people had
to pass on this heritage flawlessly, with devotion and
single-mindedness that could not falter.
these 132 fathers of mine? One had been in the
Nazi death camps; one had been whipped unconscious
by Cossacks. One had children stolen by the Czar,
and one was the laughingstock of his “enlightened”
brethren. One lived in a basement in Warsaw
with many days passing with no food to his mouth; the
other ran a stupendous mansion in France. One had
been burned at the stake for refusing to believe in the
divinity of a flesh and blood, and one had been frozen to
death in Siberia for continuing to believe in the
divinity of the Eternal God. One had been hounded by a mob
for living in Europe rather than Palestine, and one had
been blown up by Palestinians for not living in Europe.
One had been a genius who could not enter medical
school because he was not Christian, and one was fed to
the lions by the Romans…
each with his own story. Each with his own test of faith.
And each with one overriding and burning desire: that
this legacy be passed unscathed to me. And one request of
me: that I pass this on to you, my sweet child.
What is this
treasure that they have given their lives for? What is in
this precious packet that 132 generations have given up
everything for? It is a great secret: That man is capable
of being a lot more than an intelligent primate. That
the truth of an Almighty God does not depend on
public approval, and no matter how many people jeer at
you, the truth never changes. That the quality of
life is not measured by goods but by the good.
That one can
be powerfully hungry, and yet one can forgo eating
if it is not kosher. That a penny that is not
mine is not mine, no matter the temptation or rationalization.
That family bonding is a lot more than birthday
parties; it is a commitment of loyalty that does not buckle in a
moment of craving or lust. And so much more.
This is our
precious secret, and it is our charge to live it and to become
a shining display of “This is what it means to live with
God.” 132 people have sat Seder night after Seder night,
year after year, and with every fiber of their heart and soul
have made sure that this treasure would become mine
risen who are busy sifting the sands of the Sinai
trying to find some dried-out bones as residues of my
great-great-grandfather. They are looking in the
wrong place. The residue is in the soul of every one
of these 132 grandfathers whose entirety of life was
wrapped up in the preservation of this memory and treasure.
It is unthinkable that a message borne with such
fervor and intensity, against such challenges and odds, is
the result of a vague legend or the fantasy of an idle
mind. I am the 133rd person in this holy chain.
At times I
doubt if I am passing it on well enough. I try hard, but it is hard
not to quiver when you are on the vertical shoulders of
132 people, begging you not to disappoint them by
toppling everyone with you swaying in the wind.
My dear child,
may God grant us many long and happy years
together. But one day, in the distant future, I’ll be
dressed in a kittel again as they prepare me for my burial. Try
to remember that this is the treasure that I have passed
it on to you. And then it will be your turn, you will be
the 134th with the sacred duty to pass on our legacy to
by my dear Mechuten, Harav Hagaon R. Aaron Lopiansky Shlita, Rosh
HaYeshiva "Yeshiva of Greater Washington" (Silver
Spring MD) This
amazing letter (printed in his book "Time Pieces") is
too good to be kept
just for yourself. Please share it with others.