Gleaned from the Sfas Emes

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Parshas Vo'eschanan

Just a Tool

Moshe pleads with G-d that he be allowed to enter the Land. He begins his plea by recalling the past, "You (G-d) began to show to your servant (Moshe) Your greatness and Your mighty Hand..." (3:24).

Moshe's words are not 'le'avdecho' ("You (G-d) began to show 'to your servant'"), rather 'es avdecho' ("You began to show 'with' your servant").

Moshe Rabbenu is referring to the Mishna, "All that G-d created in His world was created only for His Glory" (Avos, 6:11). All our actions should be motivated by the longing to glorify His Name. Moshe Rabbenu understood from the very beginning, when G-d first told him to act on behalf of Am Yisroel, that he was only an instrument to glorify G-d in this world. Now, when praying to enter the Land, he recalls to G-d that he was chosen for that purpose."You (G-d) began to show Your greatness and Your mighty Hand... (How were these feats of glory accomplished?) "...with your servant (Moshe)."Therefore, he pleads, let me continue in that capacity! Allow me to enter the Land (Sfas Emes, Vo'eschanan 5635)

Rav Meir Shapiro, zt"l, devoted many years towards his dream of a Yeshiva for elite Torah scholars. Singlehandedly, he oversaw the building of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin, traveling through Europe and America to collect money for its construction. In the summer of 1930, the five story structure was dedicated. It was by far the biggest and most beautiful Yeshiva building in Europe.

A few days after the dedication, before the zman started, one of the talmidim was walking through the still empty corridors. Suddenly, he heard a faint, sweet singing voice from the upper floors. He followed the voice up to the third floor. There was the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Meir Shapiro, pacing the floor and quietly singing to a familiar tune, the following words; "No! No! Don't dare think that with your own strength you made all this. No! No!"'He (G-d) gives strength to you to make riches'." (D'varim, 18:8).

"Gleaned From the Sfas Emes"- excerpts adapted from a soon to published book, G-d Willing, by Simcha Leib Grossbard.Rabbi Grossbard is author of "The Sfas Emes Haggadah"(Targum Press) and "Kasheleg Yalbinu", a two volume (Hebrew) work based on Sfas Emes.

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