Dreaming of Moshiach

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Gift of Life

Who wants to live? Who want to survive? Read the following remarkable stories; one story is about a secular boxer and the second story is about a very famous Rav. Find out how they both received a gift from HKB'H - the gift of life.

A small celebration is made to mark a Siyum (completion) of a single tractate of Talmud. But when tens of thousands complete together the entire Talmud every 7 years, they make a grand celebration all over the world, called Siyum HaShas - Completion of the Talmud.

During the last Siyum HaShas in Madison Square Garden, Rabbi Yissocher Frand Shlita told this remarkable story about a boxer...

The boxer was Jewish but was so removed from Judaism that he never bothered to make a Bar Mitzvah for his son. At the age of 15, the boxer's son became interested in Judaism and found a Rabbi to teach him the Aleph Bet. After a while, the son was properly Bar Mitzva'd and decided to enter a Yeshiva.

Occassionally, when the son would return home late at night, after a full day of learning, his father would show interest and ask his son what he was learning. Although the father had no clue what his son was saying, he continued to ask him the same question from time to time.

One day the father decided he wants to learn the Talmud and asked his son to teach him. The son argued that his father barely knew Hebrew, and the Talmud is in Aramaic. The father insisted that his son teach him at least one page of Talmud. The obedient son sat with his father every night and taught him Talmud. It was a long, arduous journey, but after a year, the father mastered a daf of Talmud.

The father wanted to celebrate and make a Siyum, but the son thought the material covered was insufficient to warrant a Siyum but his father insisted.

Unsure what to do, the son asked HaRav Moshe Feinstein, zs'l, and the Rav replied, ‘Under the circumstances, your father can make a Siyum and I'll personally attend!".

When they made the Siyum, HaRav Moshe Feinstein kept his promise and attended! Many people came to the Siyum and when the Siyum ended after midnight, everyone wished the boxer Mazal Tov and congratulated him. The following morning, terrible news was heard - the boxer never woke up... He died in his sleep.

Rabbi Feinstein gave a eulogy at the funeral: ‘Just as the Gemara in Avodah Zara says, ‘There are those who acquire Olam Haba in one hour, and there are those who acquire Olam Haba with one daf (page).”

In fact, it was decreed in Shamayim that the boxer should have died sooner but because he committed to learn one page of Gemara, Shamayim gave him extra time till he finishes learning.

There was huge Halacha problem and Torah scholars were unsure how to proceed so they decided to send the Mashgiach of Meir Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz, zs'l, to ask Rav Dov Berish Weidenfeld zs"l (The "Tschebiner Rav") to join them in order to judge this important matter.

The Tschebiner Rav replied, "13 years ago I was very dangerously ill and near-death. I asked HKB'H to give me 15 additional years to live so I can relearn the Talmud Bavli. Since then, b'h, I received my strength back and I continue to learn everyday, without stopping. I intend to keep my promise. Therefore, I am forced to reject your invitation."

The Tschebiner Rav passed away 2 years later, exactly at the end of the 15 years.

This is the secret to survive and live longer, as it says:
כִּי־בִי יִרְבּוּ יָמֶיךָ וְיֹוסִיפוּ לְּךָ שְׁנֹות חַיִּֽים׃
For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you..."




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו