I am exhausted and the week is not over. I should be in my kitchen, but i am just taking a coffee break at 11:15pm. I am hosting a Shabbaton this shabbos, and got loads of cooking to do!
I went to Neve Yerushalyim 12 years ago. As it turns out, my Halacha Rav, Rabbi Bear has come to Montreal for this shabbaton, arranged by girls that he taught last summer. And, as it just so happens he is staying at me. ( it aslo just happens to coincide with My no TV policy. His presence here has made it a lot easier to lay down the law!) This is a man who spends his days teaching young women the ins and outs of keeping a Jewish home – and life. His involvement extends further though. He gets involved. He takes a marked interest in getting his studetns married, and if anyone has problems, he is there to lend an ear, advise; and if he can’t help, he goes to Rabbi Sternbuch or Rav Eliayshev, depending on the nature of the issue. He breathes in these gadolim, and their presence permeates him.
A few days ago, I had a shir in my house for some ladies, in my home. I have to confess – I had a few ba’al teshuva insecurities come to the fore! I had not been to rabbi Bear’s class in over 12 years! When he taught me, everything was new to me, so of course I was blown away by everything. I was nervous as to what he could give over to my already very frum friends.
I did not have to worry. Rabbi Bear delivered. Hashem, once again, heard my angst at not being in Jerusalem , and He sent me a little bit of that Yerushalmi fire! Some of us were in tears when he spoke, others in awe. He has so many stories of great people, of miracles that he has witnessed in his life and in that of others. The women of Montreal needed this much desired wake up call. Someone not afraid to tell us all how it is. Who we should be, and how trust in Hashem is the start and finish of everything we do.
After his talk I felt exhilerated. No only by what he had said, but even moreso the effect it had on my friends! Everyone was charged, eyes shining and neshamas gleaming. All of a sudden everyone wanted their husbands to meet the Rabbi. To gain an introspective dimension, and also to help the Rabbi out with his own hachnasas Kallah.
I saw first hand how each of my friends were changed somewhat by that level of teaching. Learning that one can only get in Eretz Yisrael. True, unadulterated inspiration. Then it hit me. This is what I LOVE to do. In Israel when I worked in kiruv, I don’t think there was a happier person on the planet. I felt like that was my true true calling. that I was doing exactly what I was born to do. Help people be inspired, and change their lives for the better.
I have always been disappointed in myself in Montreal, that I have not made such a huge effort kiruv wise. I have done a bit, but not anywhere near to what I ever envisioned my role in other people’s lives to be. I realized that I don’t have to be doing kiruv with young singles. I can do kiruv amongst my friends and acquaintances in my own community. By providing exception speakers from Israel, i can have my own Israel here, and at the same time, inspire so many women, and in so doing hasten redemption.
One glitch. Money. But here is the thing: I do believe, 100%, that if Hashem wants me to be doing this, and so much good has come out of this, then i pray that somehow, and someway the money will come, and I will be able to provide Montreal with the energy and vitality that only comes from the source. I pray that I could be enabled to enable so many others, and so on, and so forth.