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The Little Things

08/11/12 19:48:05


R Pesach Siegel

The Little Things

The Torah states, “Vehaya eikev tishma’un “ – and it will be, eikev, that you listen. There are a number of meanings suggested for the word “eikev. 

Rashi understands it to refer to the mitzvos kalos – the minor commandments, that are trodden upon by the heel. If one keeps those mitzvos, he will be rewarded.

The Ramban  explains that it refers to the end of time, when reward will be dispensed to all deserving ones. When things are brought , full circle, back to their origins. Vehaya eikev tishma’un – there will be reward for listening, when? Eikev - In the end.

The Torah tells us, that if we do so, we have nothing to fear from our enemies. G-d will send hornets among them. They will become gripped by confusion. If we keep out bris with G-d, He will keep His bris, the one he made with our forefathers. Our enemies will be overcome by illnesses. We will be illness free. Our flocks will give birth without exception. Barren animals will be found only amongst our enemies.

All this because of “eikev”.  Not because of kiyum hamitzvos. Not because of limud haTorah. Because of “eikev.”


Let me tell you a story.

The evening of the Siyum HaShas in Metlife Stadium, I was surfing around the net, trying to find a live feed.  I hadn’t been able to attend any of the siyumim in Israel, and I was in great need of some inspiration. All my searches came up with the same result. “No live feed over the internet.” So I tried to gain some glimmering of inspiration from the pictures and video clips being posted live by the attendants. It was frustrating, to say the least. I so much wanted to be at such a momentous event. Such a beautiful display of ahavas Yisroel coupled with ahavas haTorah.

At the same time (around 3:00 a.m. Israel time), a notice popped up on my screen. It said, "Yoni has accepted my friend request on Facebook!"

I was tired. I was exhausted. But I hadn’t connected with Yoni for a while.

And I texted him, “Yoni, what have you been involved in lately?” He responded, “Do you mean at this very moment?” I said, “Yes, what are you doing at this very moment?”

And this is what he said, “I’m in a shul in Buffalo, New York, converting it from a shul into a movie theatre for a hookup to the siyum hashas.”

I said, “I wish I could view it, but there are no live feeds.”

He said, “That’s not entirely true. The feed to Buffalo is being sent over the internet. It is being sent over a protected site. Check your inbox.”

I checked my inbox. In my inbox was a link, user name, and password for the Buffalo Siyum HaShas feed. I stayed up until 8:00 a.m. and watched the Siyum HaShas, live, along with my brethren in Buffalo.

What are the chances, mathematically, of such a thing happening? Infinitesimal!

Hashem does not generally reveal himself in open ways. In the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim he did, but not anymore. We see Hashem in the little things, the small things that might escape notice. The little things that we trod upon with our feet.

May I suggest a synthesis between the words of Rashi and the Ramban – Vehaya eikev tishma’un – If we see G-d, even in things that are generally trodden underfoot, if we see him in the sundry details of our daily life, if we see him as our constant companion, then he will relate to us accordingly. Enemies? No problem, they will be providentially attacked by a swarm of hornets at exactly the right moment.

When we see that Hashem has never left us, and never leaves us, that is when we understand. He created us, and he has stood by our side until the very end. That is when everything comes full circle.

Wed, January 22 2020 25 Teves 5780