by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
At the Kotel, the son of one of the regulars read the Megilah (Book of Esther) for our minyan. I have watched this boy grow up over the years. From the time he was a small child, every few weeks or so, he has come to the minyan in the evening to daven (pray) with his father. Today, he is around 17 years old.
He read very nicely. This means that his voice was loud, he pronounced every word as it is supposed to be pronounced, and he read fast enough so the impatient among us were not stressed out by a longer-than-necessary reading.
After the reading, his father was so pleased with his son’s reading that he took his hand, and with great appreciation, brought it toward his lips. He lowered his head a little and kissed his son’s fingers. After all, his son had just fulfilled a commandment that helped the entire congregation fulfill the important mitzvah of hearing the Megilah. Not only that, but he read it beautifully, and at the holiest place that it can be read today.
What do you think the teenager’s reaction to his father’s great appreciation and humility was? To feel proud? To puff up his chest? No. The young man immediately took his father’s fingers, brought them toward his lips, lowered his head, and kissed his father’s fingers.
He was thanking his father for the wonderful opportunity that he has given him, allowing him to grow up with a Jewish life in the Holy City. He was kissing the man who gave him a life that did not have to be bothered with the plastic or gross things that distract the vast majority of youths as they grow up. He kissed the fingers of the man who raised him with spiritual values in a holy place.
The Torah does not come to give us a burden. It takes a burden away.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
// 3/15/2009 //