FedTalks Parshas Vayikro (Zochor)
This Shabbos there is a special mitzva for men and women to come to shul to hear kriyas haTorah and parshas Amolek. The pasuk tells us how klal Yisroel complained that their needs and requirements weren’t being taken care of by Hakodosh Boruch Hu in the midbor and immediately after “vayovo Amolek”- Amolek came. Rashi tells us that Hakodosh Boruch Hu declared: “Tomid ani beineichem umezuman lechol tzorchechem”- I’m always there for you. I’ve always looked after everything you need! “V’atem omrim hayesh Hashem bekirbeinu im oyin”. And you, the Jewish nation, have the audacity to ask is Hakadosh Boruch Hu with us or not? Says Hakadosh Boruch Hu, you know what, no problem. I’ll send Amolek he’ll attack you and then you’ll realize how protected you’ve been till now. And Rashi goes on, the medrash tells us an analogy of a father who is carrying his son on his shoulders and wherever they go, the son says “Daddy can I have that”, and the father passes it up to him. Everything the child needs the father gives to him. Until they come across a man and the man says to the son, “where’s your father?” And the son says “I don’t know. I don’t know where he is.” And upon hearing this the father says “you don’t know who I am? You don’t know I’ve been carrying you all this time? Fine, I’ll put you down off my shoulders on the floor. And then you’ll realize very quickly how lucky you had it till now.”
Rav Shmuel Rozovsky, old rosh yeshiva of Ponovezh, tells us of a story of a poor yid who used to travel many years ago from town to town, village to village collecting pennies to get by, living hand to mouth. And one day this yid is sitting in a train station waiting to travel fifth class on the next train to the next town and someone comes along calling out “Yankel, Yankel, is that really you?”. And Yankel thinks it must be a mistake. “Who am I? No one knows who I am at all. I am a nobody”. But the man persists. “Yankel, is that really you? Don’t you recognize me? We grew up together!” And Yankel recognizes him. He says, yes, “how can I help you?” And the man says, “remember your rich Uncle Jack? Tem years ago, unfortunately he passed away, childless. And you are his next of kin, he left everything to you. Yankel, you’re wealthy man, you’ll never have to worry again.
Asks Rav Shmuel a question. At what stage would we call Yankel a wealthy man, really wealthy? 10 years ago when he became the legal heir? Or now, when you found out the news? Says Rav Shmuel: there’s no way you can call Yankel truly wealthy for the last ten years when he’s been living hand to mouth off pennies. Yankel’s real wealth was when he found out, when he now just discovered the wealth he had.
Hakadosh Boruch Hu showers each and every one of us as individuals, as families, as a community with so much on a daily basis. But we take it for granted. But we tend to turn around and at times people ask “hayesh Hashem bekirbanu im ayin?” – where’s G-d in our lives? What’s he doing for us?
The lesson of Amolek is that if chas vesholem we do that, then Hakadosh Boruch Hu has to give us a shaking. To show us how good we’ve normally had it and how good he is happy to give it to us. If we can only stop and appreciate all that he does.