PARSHAS SHOFTIM 5778
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending
out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you
this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of
Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.] The views and opinions
expressed in this article are those solely of its author(s).
STAYING WITH IT
This week's Parsha, Parshas Shoftim, begins with the Torah instructing us to set-up a
judicial system. In doing so, the Pasuk describes that one who wishes to go to a judge
should go to a judge [or in modern-day terms, the Gadol] 'that will be in that time.'
Seemingly, the Torah begs us to ask the apparent question of that 'would we have thought
to go to a Gadol of a previous generation who has already passed on?!' Of course we know
that we can only go to a Gadol living in our generation! Why then does the Pasuk
emphasize that one should specifically go to the Gadol of TODAY?
Rashi explains that even if the modern-day Gadol is not as great as the Gedolim of
previous generations, one should still go to him. One should not say, 'oh, we don't have
Reb Moshe Feinstein anymore, and therefore I'm not going to seek out anyone else for
Daas Torah.' Rather, the Torah tells us not to make such a mistake, and "go to whomever
is a Gadol in your time."
Rav Henkin derives another lesson from our Pasuk: Why does the Pasuk emphasize, 'the
judge that WILL BE in your time?' The Pasuk should just say ‘you should go the judge of
your time?' He answers that it is an instruction to the judge that he must 'be in touch' with
his generation. He must be attuned to, and familiar with his generation, their issues, their
Yetzer Haras, and their struggles.
Just as it is ridiculous to think that one can win a modern-day war with bows and arrows,
as technology and weapons have changed tremendously throughout the generations, the
same applies with the spiritual war against the Yetzer Hara. The Yetzer Hara changes his
tactics and weapons from one generation to the next. Therefore, it is incumbent upon
Gedolim to be knowledgeable and equipped to deal with the challenges that the people of
THEIR generation are struggling with.
With this lesson in mind, we can appreciate a beautiful vort from Rav Levi Yitzchak of
Berditchov. Many times when the Gemara remains with an unanswered question, the
Gemara says 'Tayku.’ Literally, the Gemara is saying “leave it” [as a question]. However,
we know that Tayku is also an acronym for 'Tishbee Yitaaretz Kushyos Viabyos,’ which
means that Eliyahu Hanavi [when Moshiach comes] will answer all the difficult questions
that have troubled our sages throughout history.
Rav Levi Yitzchok asks why specifically will Eliyahu Hanavi be the one to answer all the
difficult questions and not any of the other Gedolim and leaders of Klal Yisroel?
Rav Levi Yitzchak answers that it is because Eliyahu is the only Gadol that never died. He
ascended to Shamayim in a fiery chariot, and is still living in every generation from his
time, until this very day, and until Moshiach comes. Thus, only he is truly in touch with
and attuned to every generation’s issues. So only he will be the one fitting to answer all
the difficult questions of the various generations!
Although the lesson in this essay seems geared specifically to Gedolim, I think it is very
applicable to parents as well. The philosophies, styles, technologies, and Yetzer Haros
that many of 'the readership' grew up in are immensely different than what today’s youth
grow up in. So, the message of our Pasuk holds true for parents as well who need to
understand that their children are living in very different times. It is essential to seek
guidance from present-day mechanchim and therapists who are in touch with what today's
youth are struggling with, and not to necessarily rely on methods used in the past.
Editor: Baruch Leib Gross
|Bais Medrash Shomrei Mishmeres Hakodesh