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Rabbi Berzansky - Vayelech

"יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ ה֣וּא ׀ עֹבֵ֣ר לְפָנֶ֗יךָ..." (לא ג)

"Hashem, your G-d, He will cross before you..."

A bochur had asked R. Shach to look into a certain shidduch two days before R. Shach’s rebbitzen was nifteres. On the way home from the levayah, R. Shach spotted the bochur and gestured that he come over. He told him that he had checked out the shidduch and thought that it was a good idea.

If we could look into R. Shach’s heart, we would most probably find a heart broad enough to handle all of Klal Yisroel’s problems, as we see that even at his wife’s levayah he was concerned about that bochur’s needs.

The Chafetz Chaim’s heart also stretched to fit in all of Klal Yisroel. He spent twenty-five years of his life writing the Mishnah Berurah to help those who couldn’t decipher halachah properly. He also wrote a guidebook for Jewish soldiers who found it difficult to keep halachah in the army; the book told them where they could be lenient in times of need. He was afraid that lashon hara would destroy us so he wrote the world renowned Chafetz Chaim, which compiles all the laws of lashon hara. He also wrote countless books filled with stories, parables, and chizuk to aid us in our quest for truth.

The Chafetz Chaim’s concerns were to alleviate our pain and suffering as well as to help us serve Hashem better. Perhaps we can say that he gave his entire self over for the betterment of Klal Yisoel. Such an attribute seems to be part of the basic criteria for a true leader of Klal Yisroel.

Moshe Rabbeinu was about to pass away and he was concerned about Klal Yisroel’s worries. “Perhaps they are worried that after I will pass away they will not have a leader anymore.” He told them not to worry because they were going to have an even better leader. Moshe was about to die and all of his concerns were for Klal Yisroel’s fears? Yes, because that is a real leader.

We are not born being leaders; we must begin by broadening our concerns. If we are also concerned about what our family wants, then we can spread out to the concerns of our community, and from there to all of Klal Yisroel.

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