On Thursday evening, June 23, Rabbi Yaakov Mizrahi, well-known speaker, shared an inspiring live lecture on behalf of Chazaq at the Beth Gavriel Center to a large crowd of young professionals. Rabbi Mizrahi shared that the three parshiyos we read at this time of the year reveal unfortunate events for the Jewish people. How are the three linked together?
He taught that three people in Tanach made improper requests. Eliezer asks Hashem to send Yitzchak a girl who offers him water. Shaul says that whoever slays Galyas (Goliath) will win his daughter as a bride and will earn wealth. Yiftach said that if Hashem lets him win this battle, he will offer the first thing that comes out of his house to Him as a korban. Two of the three received what they wanted: Eliezer found the bride for Yitzchak and Shaul received David as a son-in-law. Yiftach, on the other hand, didn’t receive what he wanted. He thought a sheep would come out of his house first. Instead, his daughter was the first thing to exit his house, and some say that he killed her and others say he put her on a mountain for the rest of her life.
The Ben Ish Chai asks: Why did two get answered, even when they asked improperly, and the third, who also asked improperly, did not get answered. He teaches that Yiftach was speaking about something directly connected to the honor of Hashem, and when something is connected to k’vod sheim Shamayim, a person has to be extra careful about what he says. “When it comes to k’vod sheim Shamayim, we are talking about our purpose for being here.” Rabbi Mizrahi continued: “Our mission on Earth and the purpose of creation is to glorify Hashem – to let the world know there is a Creator.”
Each day, we need to ask ourselves: How much k’vod sheim Shamayim did I bring out today? Did I do a kiddush Hashem? In the workplace, was I polite and cordial, so that people will say: Oh, this is a Jew; he is special.
We have to demonstrate to the world that we are the chosen people by the way we live. It inspires them and shows the world that there is a Creator of the world.
He shared that a bas Yisrael is like a princess, so she dresses like royalty. She dresses modestly, with tz’nius, in the heat of the summer. People notice this. “In our life, our job is to be m’kadeish sheim Shamayim with our beautiful actions.”
Performing a chilul Hashem is the opposite of why we are here. Four people received an added letter to their name. Yehoshua received a yud. Avraham and Sarah each received a hei. Yisro received a vav. These added letters are the four letters in Hashem’s name. Why did they receive letters from Hashem’s name? The answer is because they sanctified Hashem’s name during their lives. They brought holiness into the world.
When the Chofetz Chaim turned 80, he asked a talmid to make him a birthday party. Then, every year after that, he requested a birthday party. When a talmid asked him why he was asking for a birthday party now, he shared the following: My whole life I was concerned that if I passed away at a young age, it would be a chilul Hashem. The Chofetz Chaim was working on sh’miras ha’lashon and wrote a whole book on it. The pasuk says that if you want life, you should guard your tongue. Once he reached the age of 80, no one would call him young and so there could be no chilul Hashem. He explained that he wanted to thank Hashem that he didn’t make a chilul Hashem and was able to do more kiddush Hashem.
Rabbi Mizrahi taught, “We can never lose focus of what we are here to do.” He shared a story that demonstrated how non-Jews viewed Jews as chosen and special. A man who was not observant saw this and it impacted him so much, that he realized he needed to find out about Judaism and he became a baal t’shuvah. Our job is to realize that we are the chosen people. It’s a responsibility and a privilege. What a z’chus to be Hashem’s children.
Our purpose is to perform Hashem’s will wherever we are. Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky once shared a story that happened to him. He was asked to be a rav in London. He went to Rav Moshe Shapiro, and he told him that he didn’t want to go to London. Rav Shapiro answered, “In life we don’t go where we want to go. We go where we are needed.”
Rabbi Mizrahi added that when someone is niftar, we recite Kaddish. The reason we recite this prayer is because every Jew has a mission. When he is niftar and cannot physically bring holiness to Hashem, the world is now lacking this person’s ability to be m’kadeish sheim Shamayim. We say to Hashem: We don’t want Your Honor to be diminished, so we recite Kaddish, which states, May Your Name be sanctified on Earth even without this individual.
He then shared how we always need to remember that our ultimate goal is to be m’kadeish sheim Shamayim. The three parshiyos have chilul Shamayim. We have to thank Hashem for creating us and for the privilege of being a Jew, and we have to be very careful with k’vod Shamayim.
This beautiful shiur can be viewed on www.TorahAnytime.com.
By Susie Garber