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  • Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier

My Bubby's ice cream

A bachur once complained to the Rebbe that he suffers from uneasiness in his studies and his mouth operates faster than his mind. In answer, the Rebbe referenced an interpretation offered by the Alter Rebbe on a passuk from this week’s parshah.

The Torah says that if we don’t follow the ways of the Torah, then: “ואבדתם מהרה מעל הארץ הטובה אשר ה' נותן לכם,” you will be banished hastily from the good land that Hashem is granting you. The Alter Rebbe gave another interpretation:  Land (ארץ) alludes to one’s will (רצון). The “good land” refers to a person’s desire and will to study Torah and invest in his avodas Hashem. So when Hashem grants someone “a good land” (ארץ הטובה), that is, an eager desire to study Torah, he should take note of the preceding words, ,ואבדתם מהרה which the Alter Rebbe explains as an instruction: “You shall banish haste! One should study Torah pleasurably, delighting one’s soul with the pleasantness of the Torah.”[1]

The Rebbe suggested that the bachur dwell on this idea and implement it, and he’ll feel more at ease and more settled.[2] My Bubby Majesky’s yahrtzeit is this week. She was a remarkable woman in many ways—the daughter of the illustrious Reb Yisroel Noach Belinitzki, she survived the war, and then, together with my Zaidy Majesky, raised a beautiful family in America while serving their Crown Heights community in numerous ways. One of my personal favorite childhood memories is watching my bubby say Tehillim. As a small boy I would watch as she read the words slowly and audibly. To me it looked like she was indulging in the holy words the way I would indulge in an ice-cream cone; savoring every bite slowly and deliberately. Life today is more fast-paced than ever before. Speed and immediacy are key in technology and we’ve become accustomed to things happening instantaneously. All this inevitably causes us to operate faster than naturally comfortable, causing tension in our bodies and inexplicable uneasiness in our minds and hearts. Sometimes, simply slowing down can be deeply beneficial. When I’m feeling tense I know that unplugging my smart-phone for a short while works wonders. As Yidden, we have many opportunities to experience an even more meaningful form of slow-down. When we turn off our phones to daven, learn Torah or say Tehillim from a sefer (as opposed to from a device) it is an indispensable slow-down. Especially if we make an effort to say the words slowly and deliberately. We may be surprised at how pleasurable the experience is.  And you never know, your grandchild may just be watching you. Gut Shabbos, Rabbi Mordechai Lipskier [1] Sefer Hasichos evening seudah of Shevi’i Shel Pesach 5701. [2] Igros Kodesh vol. 9, pg. 289.


SPONSORED BY The Flint family l’zecher nishmas Reb Avraham Michoel ben Yaakov Shimon Halevi a"h

The Moshe Group Moshe and Rivky Majeski

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