Last week's tool was: the Middos Development Program. The stretch was to view any situation during the week in which you are hurt, embarrassed or angry as uniquely customized by your personal trainer for your Middos Development Program.
Please have one person share a successful experience using this or any other tool we have learned.
PRACTICAL TOOLS FOR BRINGING
SHALOM INTO OUR WORLD
Tool #11 - Power Plant
Tool #11: Power Plant
Rabbi Ezriel Tauber in his sefer, As In Heaven, So On Earth, describes two ways of M'Kadaysh Shaim Shamayim (sanctification of HaShem’s name): a public Kiddush HaShem and a private Kiddush HaShem. Most people are more familiar with the former rather than the latter.
A public Kiddush HaShem is an impressive deed done in the presence of others which brings much honor to HaShem’s name. Then there are those things which take much inner strength but no one knows about them--except for HaShem. This is called a private Kiddush HaShem. Every time a person performs a mitzva that others aren’t aware of, they are making a private Kiddush HaShem. Aside from doing a kindness for someone privately, this would include holding back from speaking lashon hora, using our tools to drop grudges, finding a z'chus for someone’s questionable actions, or strengthening ourselves in emuna and bitachon--all recognizing that whatever the situation, HaShem is in charge. Only HaShem sees how we work on ourselves to drop a grudge when we’ve been hurt, or fight our yetzer hora, holding in the lashon hora we would have liked to say. All this work that we do in our mind and our heart, unseen by others, is creating a private Kiddush HaShem. Only HaShem knows what is in our hearts and only He sees how much we are working on ourselves to be m'vater, to maintain shalom. Rabbi Tauber states that just as a power plant generates energy to supply light to this room, this building, and perhaps even a good portion of this city, so do we, through our private Kiddush HaShem acts generate an energy that has the power to light up the lives of other Jews in some way, even those that are thousands of miles away.
Rabbi Lipschutz, in his editorial in the Yated Ne'eman (October 25, 2013,) states very clearly: “The worst mistake we can make when we wake up in the morning and begin our day is to think that our actions, and our very being, don’t make a cosmic difference. A person’s most serious error is the belief that he isn’t part of a bigger picture. We may look at our friends and ourselves as being small and insignificant. However, we must be confident in the belief that our words and actions have unseen and untold affects on the world.”
With all the tools we have discussed until now, we have shown how we benefit by being m'vater. Earlier we quoted Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky, zt”l, about people often thinking that someone who is m'vater is a tzaddik. However, he is actually a chacham, since one who is m'vater never loses out. With this tool called the “Power Plant,” we go beyond the personal benefit to recognize how we can help K'lal Yisrael as well. Yes, it can be very difficult at times to do so. We may be very justified in our grudge or bad feelings. We need to recognize that each person is a (mikdash m'at)מקדש מעט, a small sanctuary, and our hearts are theקדש קדשים , the Holy of Holies! The work we do in our hearts can be compared to the service of the Kohan Gadol on Yom Kippur when he entered the Holy of Holies. Let us see the bigger picture in the conflicts we have in our lives with others and use it as an opportunity to help ourselves, our families, and all of K'lal Yisrael--by focusing on Shalom, HaShem’s priority for us.
Story: (based on a true story)
During the Six Day War in Israel, the Jordanians were shooting and fighting around Y'rushalayim. The Mir Yeshiva was located at the border with Jordan. Much of their time was spent in the bomb shelter. On one particular day, the shelling was especially heavy and frightening. No one knew if they would survive the day. After the war was over, some of the students were curious in what merit their yeshiva was fully saved. The students wondered if they were saved in the merit of their Torah learning. The Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, responded to the students with an answer no one expected. He said: “Do you know what saved us today? One would think it was in the merit of our Torah learning and fervent prayers. I think instead it was in the merit of a laundry woman sitting next to me in the bomb shelter. This extraordinary woman is an aguna (a woman whose husband left her). This woman was left destitute and was forced to support herself and her family by washing other people’s dirty clothes. From where I sat in the shelter, I could hear her crying out to HaShem: “Ribono Shel Olam, I forgive them all.” This act of vatranus, of forgiving and letting go, brought down HaShem’s forgiveness, and in her merit, I believe all of us in the shelter were saved today.”
Discussion Question Options:
Give examples of private Kiddush HaShem acts.
What are the greatest examples of forgiveness you have witnessed or heard of?
Think of an act of forgiveness, an act of letting go, that would be BIG for you even now.
Stretch of the Week: