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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Mordechai Lipskier

Now This Deserves Parading


A few days ago, Chabad held the largest Lag BaOmer parade in history. Usually limited by space, the cyberspace venue this year meant there were virtually no limits. This was, of course, breathtaking, but there’s a phenomenon that’s been going on since Purim, and this too deserves parading. In this week’s Pirkei Avos, we read about the ten miracles in the Beis Hamikdash, including: Omdim tz’fufim u’mishtachavim re’vachim, “They stood crowded but had ample space in which to prostrate themselves.” According to the Rashbatz, although this was miraculous, the concept must have already existed within nature, because “there’s nothing new under the sun.” He likens it to pouring water into a bucket of sand; the bucket seems full to capacity, but miraculously there is room for the water. Virtual reality is an even better example: A six-inch device can contain thousands joining in a single parade!

Miraculous indeed, but it gets better. Chassidus explains that the miracle of the space was actually a result of the prostration. The state of bitul, self-nullification, the Jews had to be in to prostrate themselves is what allowed space for everyone. “Omdim”—when we stand stubborn and arrogant, “tz’fufim,”—we’ll feel squashed. “Mishtachavim”—when we submit ourselves to Hashem and His presence within another Jew, “re’vachim”—there’s ample space.[1] So was it a miracle? Yes. This level of humility is indeed miraculous. During these months of Corona, many families have been crammed into small living spaces, challenging the limits of our tolerance and patience for each other. When we succeed in getting along, it’s because of the love we have for one another. Love creates space. No, we don’t always fully express the innate love, but let’s recognize the miraculous times that we do. And, it’s comforting to know that because the love is always present, so is the potential for space. To make space for each other in cyberspace is nice. It can even be called a miracle of modern technology. But for humans to make space for one another in physical reality is truly a miracle, one which only ancient souls can perform. The message of Lag BaOmer is ahavas Yisroel. Imagine if we could carry our newly learned skills with us into post-Corona life! The main thing is that our efforts in ahavas Yisroel should bring us to Moshiach, when we will have space that far surpasses that of virtual reality, but we will experience here, in reality.

Good Shabbos, Rabbi Lipskier [1] Likutei Sichos vol. 25 pg. 300 footnote 32.


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