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Oh, What a Feeling!

By: Rabbi Yitzchak Lerner

Motzei Shabbos Parashat Ki Tavo. As I sit down to write this Dvar Torah for Parshas Netzavim, the words of the tochacha are still in my head. As I was following the quick and low toned leining, my mind kept on thinking about the last 2000 years of Jewish history. I kept thinking; Wow, this is powerful. How much of this have we already suffered through?

Than at Mincha I heard those beautiful words of this week’s Parsha "Atem Nitzavim HaYom", we are all standing here today. What fantastic words of hope after all the suffering.  We’re still here and quite possibly stronger than ever. Who would have thought that in today's age Torah would be so strong? How many boys are learning in Yeshiva's throughout the world and for that matter how many woman are learning Torah today at such high levels?

I'm often amazed during my travels of the shuls, daf yomi and interestingly enough, all the Kosher restaurants. Again, who would have thought? I remember as a young boy in the 1970's my father z"l would take us to New York to the one kosher Chinese restaurant on the lower east side – ‘Shmulka Bernsteins’. Today 40 years later every Jewish community has a Chinese place.

I look around the girls in Midreshet. Who would have thought that we would all be in Yerushalaim learning Torah?  You have Syrian, Moroccan and Persian girls. Then you have the Ashkenazi girls. If we go back three generations we have girls of Polish, Russian, German and Hungarian descent and we are all here, standing in our beautiful Beis Midrash, learning Torah together. 

We have collectively gone through the trials and tribulations of gallus, yet we see the opening words of this week’s Parsha and I at least walk away with a feeling of tremendous chizuk. At the risk of sounding cliché - THE FLAME OF TORAH FLICKERS ON !!!

Shabbat Shalom




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