Torah Portion of the Week – Va’eira – God Want’s Your Heart – Free Will and Punishment – A Powerful Parable about the Doctor – A Great Story about Rav Shach and Peace in Your Home – A Spiritual Happiness in the Home
The Torah Podcast Transcript
085 The Torah Podcast – God Wants Your Heart – Free Will and Punishment
Torah Portion of the Week – Va’era
Chapter seven in Shemos starts out like this. “Hashem said to Moses, ‘See how I’ve made you a master over Pharoah, and Aaron your brother shall be your speaker. You shall speak everything that I should command you. And Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh, that he should send the Children of Israel from his land. And I shall harden Pharaoh’s heart, and I shall multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not heed you. And I shall put my hand upon Egypt, and I shall take out my legions, my people the Children of Israel from the land of Egypt, with great judgements. And Egypt shall know that I am Hashem, when I stretch out my hand over Egypt. And I shall take out the Children of Israel from among them.’” So, we see from here that Hashem is going to harden Pharaoh’s heart. All the early commentators are involved with how can it be that God took away free will from Pharaoh? And if God took away free will from Pharaoh, how can it be that Pharaoh gets punished? It was Hashem that’s making him do what he does. It’s Hashem that’s making him decide not to let the Jewish people go. So, what does it have to do with him? So, the Torah wants to answer that Pharaoh was not punished for disobeying God’s command by not letting the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim, Egypt. But rather he was punished for the excess cruelty he displayed. It’s true that God controlled whether He’s going to decide that they go out or not. But he didn’t have to do it with such enthusiasm. He was punished for his character flaw, because he was so inhumane.
But the Rambam and Ramban both want to give different answers. The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva chapter six, halacha, law three says like this. “A person may commit a great sin or many sins causing the judgment rendered before the True Judge to be that the retribution administered for this transgression, for these sins, which he willfully and casually committed, is that his teshuva be held back. He will not be allowed the chance to repent from his wickedness, so that he will die and be wiped out because of the sin he committed.” And the halacha continues and says, “For this reason is written in the Torah in Exodus 14:4, ‘I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.’ Since he began to sin on his own initiative and cause hardship for the Jewish people who dwelled in his land like it says, ‘Come let us deal wisely with them.’ Therefore he was judged and prevented from repenting, and God hardened his heart. And what that means is, that the punishment he received for the sin he did before was that his free will was taken away. It wasn’t the first thing he did and everything is equal, and therefore his free will is taken away. No, he sinned before. He caused tremendous hardships to the Jewish people before, and the sin was that his free will was taken away. And this is like the Ramban also said. He brings the Midrash Rabba that says, “I have made his heart stubborn. Rav Yochanan said, ‘Here the heretics have an opening, but there’s no possibility for Pharaoh to repent.’” Rav Shimon Reish Lakish said, “Let their mouths be sealed. If it is towards the scoffers, he will scoff.” Why? Because first he warned him, a first time, a second time, and a third time. And if he doesn’t repent, so then the doors become locked for him to return, because that’s the collective due of what he deserves. Just like it says, “And the Holy One, Blessed Be He, sent messages to him five times and he paid no attention to his words. It was only after the fifth plague, then he got the punishment where he couldn’t return. Like it says, “You have stiffened your neck and hardened your heart. Now I will add further defilement onto your defilement.” So, the Ramban explains, “If God hardened his heart, so what was his sin?” The answer is, the sin was the wickedness, the way he treated the Jewish people before that. And his punishment was, that he can’t repent. So, that’s the first explanation that the Ramban gives as to why Pharaoh can still get punished even after God took away his free will. That lines up with what the Rambam said.
But there are other answers. He gives a second explanation which lines up with what the Seforno said. He says, “It’s just the opposite. Really he had free will.” So, what did it mean that God hardened his heart? When the plagues overwhelmed him and he was too exhausted to bear them, his heart weakened. So he started to consider sending them out, because of the harshness of the plagues, but not because he wanted to do the will of his Creator. So, what did Hashem do? At that point, God hardened his spirit and emboldened his heart, in order that God’s name should be declared among the world. Like it says, “I will be exalted and sanctified, and will make myself known before the eyes of many nations.” So, Hashem hardened his heart that he’s ordered to do what he really wants to do. Pharaoh does not want to send out the Jewish people. The average person would have given up. He would have said, “That’s it. I can’t take this suffering anymore.” And therefore he would have given in. Hashem strengthened his heart that he could do what he really wanted to do, which was not to let the Jewish people go out. And this is what the Seforno said. Without a doubt, were it not for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, he would have sent the Jewish people out, but not because of repentance or submission to God, but because he couldn’t take the plagues anymore. So he says, “That’s not called repentance. But if Pharaoh truly would have submitted to God with full repentance, there wouldn’t have been any Divine deterrent at all.” There’s a note on the Seforno that says like this. By giving them the strength, their freedom of will was unimpaired. Hence, if they would have repented of their evil ways, it would have been a voluntary act.” So, of course Pharaoh’s going to get punished his deeds, because that’s really what he really wanted. The average person would have given up because of the suffering. Hashem strengthened Pharaoh that he could do what he wanted. And what he wanted to do was bad.
Rav Dessler wants to explain this opinion of the Seforno and the Ramban with this Gemara. It says, “Rav Eliezer said, ‘If Israel does teshuva, repentance, they will be redeemed. If not, they will not be redeemed.’ Rav Yehoshua replied, ‘If they do teshuva they will not be redeemed? Surely, God has promised that the Mashiach will come sooner or later. But God will raise up against them a king whose decrees are worse than Haman’s, and the Jewish people will do teshuva.’” So, the Maharal asked on this. He says, “Wait a second. Both Rav Eliezer and Rebbe Yehoshua agreed that the Jewish people will do teshuva.” He answers, “There’s two types of teshuva. There’s one teshuva for the person who does it because it really comes from inside of his heart. He really wants to come back to God. But there’s another type of teshuva that a person does, just because he’s suffering, so he stops sinning. That’s just to relieve the suffering. But as soon as things get back to normal, he’s going to go back to his sinning. But both of them are teshuva in the sense that they both stopped sinning.”
Rav Dessler explains, “Suffering can have two effects. They could bring a person to true teshuva, the spark of truth in his own heart. Or it’s just going to break his will, and break his desires. Therefore, if the suffering is removed, his desires come back. But the true purpose of all punishment is a complete repentance. But if a person stops sinning just because of the suffering, then the point of the suffering has been frustrated. What’s the point? Why is God bringing difficult times on a person, in order that people should come back to Him? Not that they should just stop sinning in the sense of temporarily. What does God do? God acts to strengthen the heart of the sinner so he is not subdued by the suffering, in order that he’ll be able to learn from his suffering to come back in true repentance.” This is unbelievable. And this is true by every individual. We have to learn from the Torah how to act, how to behave. What are we learning from Pharoah? Every human being is like Pharaoh, look what he says. “The greater the person, the greater his yetzer hara, the greater the forces against him.” In other words, a person always has to have free will.
So, if a person grows and he sees that really he should change himself, and he comes to a new level – that means that his yetzer hara, the forces against him, also have to become stronger. Otherwise, he’d become like an angel. He goes to the new level and that’s it. He’s always doing good. He’s a great guy, 100 percent good. You have no yetzer hara. So, what does God have to do? He has to make his yetzer hara stronger. His evil inclination becomes greater. He says, “This is what happened to Pharaoh also.” This is beautiful. When Pharaoh started to see all the miracles and all of a sudden he starts to say, “Wait. Maybe there really is a God in the world. The water turned to blood. There’s frogs all over the place. All the animals died, what’s going on here?” Anybody in their right mind would see there’s a God in the world, and God controls everything. So, that means that he grew. He understood on a different level, really there is a God in the world. What did Hashem have to do? He had to harden his heart, in order to keep his bechira, free will, equal. That’s what he does with every individual. He makes the yetzer hara stronger. This is what he says, “The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was not an extraordinary event. It’s repeated in the heart of every person during his struggles with the yetzer hara.” The verse where it says, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” is translated by the Targum, “I will harden the yetzer of Pharaoh’s heart.” This whole episode teaches us a great deal about the workings of the yetzer hara in every human being.
So, even if an individual is suffering in his own life and he wants to come back to God, the question is why does he want to come back to God? Is it 100 percent pure or not? Because if it’s not pure, and he wants to come back just to relieve the suffering and he sees hey, things are not going well in my life. It must be I’ve got to change my ways. Then he gets a thought of repentance that he’s going his change his ways. But at the same time since he has the thought of teshuva of turning back to God, the yetzer hara has to come in and say, “Listen, maybe yes, maybe no.” At that point, the person has to really decide, he has to really decide do I want to come back to God or not? It’s not just a question of removing the suffering or not.
The Shem Mi Shmuel brings a beautiful example of this from this possuk, it says like this. “Pharaoh said, ‘I will send you that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness. But do not go far away. Pray for me’ First Pharaoh says, “I’m going to send you,” and then afterwards Pharaoh says, “Pray for me.” The order is backwards. Why did he say okay, I’ll send you and by the way, you should pray for me. It should be on the condition that you pray for me that I’ll send you. He wants to answer, “Pharaoh didn’t want to make it conditional. He didn’t want to say, ‘You know what? If you pray for me, I’ll let you go.’ He wanted to make the impression that his teshuva was sincere. I’m letting you go from the goodness of my heart. By the way, please pray for me. That’s how he wanted it to appear. And that’s how proper teshuva should be. When a person is suffering and he’s having a hard time in his life, and he has the ten plagues coming on him, so he has to return unconditionally, realizing that God is the Master of the Universe. God is the one who’s bringing the suffering on. God is the one who controls everything, and everything is min hashemayim. Every little thing that happens to a person comes directly from God. So, he has to return unconditionally, not just to remove his suffering – without conditions, and without external factors. It shouldn’t be he’s dependent on him, if you pray for me, if you don’t pray for me, if I become rich, if I become great. That has nothing to do with it. A person has to return to God because He’s the Master of the Universe.
And not only that, even if things get worse,” he says, “He still has to return to God. He has to remain steadfast with his commitment, and not deviate from his new level of commitment. And then he’ll have a perfect teshuva.” And we know it happens to be true. When people decide to become more religious and all of a sudden they decide to take a commitment on themselves to daven, pray, to learn, to do who knows what, to keep more mitzvos, all of a sudden the yetzer comes in and all these things start to happen. Everything starts to go haywire. I have a proof for this from Tomer Devorah. Look what it says in Tomer Devorah. “When a person confesses his wrongdoings in vidui which is part of the teshuva process, to confess your sins out loud, what happens? The Holy One, Blessed Be He immediately decrees severe suffering on him for his sins.” This is unbelievable. The person wants to come back to God and what happens when he decides, he makes a real decision to come back? All of a sudden the suffering starts to come on his head. But that’s just because it’s a test. He went to a new level. Not only is it a test, but it is like the vidui and kaparah. First you do vidui, when a person brings a sacrifice first their hands on the head of the animal. They say their vidui, they confess their sins on the head of the animal. And it’s like the animal is them going to slaughter. Then they slaughter the animal. So, first you have vidui and then you have kaparah. Kaparah means atonement. As long as a person keeps sinning, why should he suffer? Hashem lets him go. Listen, do whatever you want. But once the person decides to clean himself up, so Hashem also cleans him up, and he brings suffering on the person. But the person’s on a different level, he can handle the suffering. And everything that Hashem does is good. And every bit of suffering takes him to another level. When he suffers, he’s going to up even higher, because he’ll repent even more.
Now, the Chofetz Chaim has a different answer to the question. He asks, how could the gates of repentance be locked before Pharaoh? These gates are normally open to everyone, even the worst sinners. The answer that he wants to give is, sinners are usually given help from heaven to repent. And that’s why we ask for help. We pray, bring us back in complete repentance before You. On the other hand, some sinners have piled up so many sins, that help from heaven is withheld from them. And they must arouse themselves to repent. So, it wasn’t that the free will was taken away from Pharaoh. It was the help from heaven to come back to God that he normally has, if the sins become so piled up, so great the help stops. But that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t repent. And this is what the Chofetz Chaim says. It was the same mistake like Acher, who heard a heavenly voice, “Return wayward sons, all except Acher.” So he thought, “Acher, that’s it. I’m finished. I can never come back to God. I’m finished,” and he didn’t repent. But he didn’t realize that his free will was not taken away from him. The heavenly voice only meant that Hashem’s not going to help him to repent. But if he really, really, really wants, he can come back.
And Rav Schwab wants to bring a proof for this thing. He brings the possuk that says, “Until when will refuse to be humbled before me?” This was what Moshe Rabbeinu said to Pharaoh. So, the kasher is, what do you mean? How could he ask him to be humble before him, when Moshe Rabbeinu knew that his heart was going to be hardened. What’s he asking from him? So he wants to answer, that even though it’s true it was decreed already that Pharaoh was not going to let the Jewish people go, but at least he could have humbled himself before Moshe. That was still within his free will. So, the problem was that he didn’t humble himself, but if he would have humbled himself he could have done teshuva also. And he brings down that aino chinami, we know that the Rambam said there are errors that a person can do that he can’t do teshuva for, and he can’t return to God. But still, ain devar omed lifnai hateshuva, nothing stands in the way of teshuva. If he would have humbled himself, he could have eventually come back to God.
So, Rav Wolbe says, “What can we learn from this whole story, and how can we understand this whole madness of Pharaoh? What was he, insane?” The answer is, no. It has to do with the heart. It’s our heart, rachmana liba bo, Hashem wants our hearts. And if we don’t work at our hearts, we can’t come back to God. He brings like this – he says, “The Shema which we say twice a day, in the first paragraph it says, ‘You shall love Hashem with all your heart.’ And it also says, ‘Place these words on your heart.’ In the second paragraph is says, ‘Serve Him with all your heart.’ Later in the second paragraph it says, ‘Be careful least your heart be swayed.’ Then it says, ‘And you should place these words upon your heart.’ In the last paragraph it says, ‘Do not stray after your heart.’ The key to success in avodas Hashem is the ability to have our Torah and avoda, our Torah and our worship of Hashem, to penetrate our hearts. It’s not enough to learn to perform the mitzvos.” He says, “Pharaoh understood in his mind and his seichel, he saw the ten plagues were happening, but it didn’t penetrate his heart.” And he says, “We do the same thing.” That’s exactly the point. The Torah’s teaching us something, it’s not just a story. He says, “It’s unbelievable how the human being can block out the most earth-shattering events and remain unaffected.” And we do it to ourselves all the time. Hashem is sending us messages, and we pay no attention. A person has major things happen in his life and he’s not even moved.
I had a friend once who had a growth inside of his lungs the size of a grapefruit, and they had to break open his ribs to take it out. I spoke to him a month after the operation, “How are you doing?” “Oh, everything’s fine. Everything’s great.” No spiritual change. No thought of teshuva. No coming back to God. And we do it all the time to ourselves. So, Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch learns from the three loshonos, the three things that’s said about Pharaoh’s heart. The first one was kasheh, he had a hard heart – it means hardened. What does that mean? Not to absorb impressions, not to be affected by anything. The second language was kaved, heavy – difficult to move. Maybe a person can get an impression, but there’s a big gap between the impression and the influence of the impression he received from what happened to him. That’s heavy. And the third thing it says about Pharaoh’s heart, it was chazak. Hashem mechazeked, Hashem strengthened his heart. Firm, what does that mean? Deliberately resisting. Hashem’s sending you a message, and you don’t care. It happens to all of us. You are stubborn in your ways, you’re strong in your ways. So, these are the things we need to work on. We need to hear the message that Hashem is sending to us. We need to respond, we need to react. We need to feel. We have to give God our hearts, rachmana liba bo, Hashem wants your heart. It’s the only way, that’s what religion is about. And if a person does this, he becomes a new person. He could do teshuva sheleima, full repentance. He could become a new human being.
And you’ve got to hear what Rav Moshe Feinstein says about this. “Just like in the negative, if a person does too many sins and he continues that way, Hashem doesn’t help him. And he continues down that line and he gets punished for the direction that he went into. Even though it started out, which means it started out with free will, and then it became habit, and that was the end of the guy, he finished and he gets punished. But you could have the opposite also. You’ve got to hear this. He says, there are those who are rewarded by Hashem for their good deeds by taking away the evil inclination. It means they do so much good that it becomes natural to them, and not only that but they’re going to get rewarded for it. Not that it becomes natural to them and therefore it’s just natural. You know, why should they get rewarded, that’s who they are. No, if they worked on themselves and they did good deeds, and they get to the level it becomes natural for them. At that point, they’re still rewarded for the level.
Look what it says. The Gemara in Bava Basra 17:A says like this. “This is the meaning of Dovid haMelech’s statement in Tehillim, ‘My heart has died within me.’ Dovid haMelech said, ‘It is through his good deeds he earned the removal of his evil inclination. Therefore his heart,’ a reference to the evil inclination, ‘Is said to have been dead. When Hashem removes the inclination from the righteous, it allows them to serve Hashem without any struggle at all. Will this lessen the amount of reward they’ll receive? No. If Pharaoh who no longer had the ability to fight his inclination is punished as if he chooses not to fight, surely the righteous who must no longer fight their evil inclination, they’ll still be rewarded as if they chose and they won a mighty battle.” So we see, if we continue in the wrong way, eventually God-forbid it will become such a mess there’s no way out of it. And we get punished even though we were in a certain sense, not responsible. Buy we started out responsible. Why responsible? Because we chose to do the wrong thing. But as it continues down the line we could get punished, and that’s the end of us, God-forbid.
On the other hand, if we choose to do good and we use our hearts to hear the words of Hashem, to hear the message that Hashem is sending us, to listen, to let it penetrate us, to let the impressions of the outside world and what’s happening to us affect our hearts. If we do that, then we can go in the up direction. And then we can get used to doing good things, and doing the right thing. And then we’ll get rewarded even for levels that are easy for us.
A Powerful Parable
The verse says, “Therefore say to Bnai Yisroel, ‘I am Hashem. I will bring you out from under the burdens of Egypt, and I will save you from the slavery I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, with acts of great judgment I will take you to myself as a people.’” On this, the Maggid mi Dubno brings a moshul, parable.
He says, “One time a man fell ill and included in his illness was a lot of different symptoms. He had a headache, he lost his appetite. He had insomnia. So, if a doctor comes in and says, ‘Okay, I see your situation. Listen, I have this medication for your headache, and I have that medicine to help your appetite. And I have a different medicine to help you sleep.’ So then, the patient understands right, this is what’s going on here. He’s just treating my symptoms, and he understands that the actual illness, the cause of all these things, is beyond the doctor’s ability to cure them. But if when the doctor comes in and says, ‘Don’t worry. I promise you when the time comes, you will be completely healed. But right now I can only help you with these side problems,’ so then he’ll have confidence in the doctor.” That was the moshul, what’s the nimshal, conclusion?
So too it says, when Hashem said, “I will take you out, I will save you. I will redeem you. I will take you.” So, if it was just for that, maybe the Jewish people would think they’re never going to be redeemed. But since he started out by saying, “I am Hashem,” as the Midrash says, “He would redeem them when the end would come, and there would be a time of redemption. At that point, the Jewish people were confident that they were going to be redeemed.
Great Stories – Rav Shach
The verse says, “And on that day I should distinguish the land of Goshen upon which my people stand. And there should be no mixture of wild beasts there.” In other words, the verse is telling us that the plague of the wild beasts is not going to be in the land of Goshen where the Jewish people were.
So, one Friday night in the middle of the first Gulf War, there were missiles flying over Bnai Brak. And they could hear the explosions in the next city, Ramat Gan. So, the next morning a person who was close to Rav Shach came with excitement and said, “We just witnessed a modern day equivalent to this verse, ‘And on that day I should distinguish the land of Goshen upon which my people stand.’” In other words, they weren’t hit, just the neighbors were hit but Bnai Brak wasn’t hit. But Rav Shach said, “Just the opposite. What you are saying is foolish. First of all, don’t be arrogant and think the miracles that are occurring for the Jewish people nowadays are equal to the miracles that occurred then. It’s just the opposite. Instead of thinking that Bnai Brak doesn’t deserve any punishment, we should realize that the whole storm was only because of us. We have to do teshuva. We have to come back to God. And we have to ask ourselves, why did the missiles come on Friday night? Maybe it’s the way we’re behaving on Friday night. In the winter, the meal ends around 7:00 or 8:00 o’clock. What do the young Torah scholars do from then until midnight? Do they go and learn? Perhaps it’s what’s demanded of us to strengthen our Torah learning on Friday night, that’s what’s causing the missiles to come in.
Peace in Your Home
Rav Moshe Aaron Stern speaks on spiritual happiness in the home. The verse says, “Hashem placed the tree of life in the middle of the garden.” So, why was the tree of life placed in the middle of the garden? The Chofetz Chaim explains, the tree of life means eternal spiritual life and everybody can get it. Why is it placed in the middle? Because some people get it through good deeds, some people get it through learning, some people get it through prayer. But every person has a right to it. Every person can get eternal life. That’s why Hashem placed it in the middle of the garden. So too,” he says, “our world too has an eitz chaim in its center, with many avenues leading into it. And that’s happiness in your home, spiritual happiness. Everybody must study the paths to get to it.”
So he says, “A cheerful mood is necessary for a happy existence.” He explains, “If you meet an avreich, a guy who’s sitting and learning, and his world has gone black, “He’s going to give you a dozen reasons why. But he’s probably too embarrassed to tell you the real reason, and that’s because he’s lost his happiness in his learning. If a person doesn’t get satisfaction from his learning, he’s going to blame his life on all kinds of things. The verse says, ‘Because you did not serve Hashem with joy and the goodness of your heart’. When joy in Torah and mitzvos is lacking, the person feels as if all the rebukes are on his back. The Chazon Ish writes, “None of the pleasures of this world can compare to learning Torah. Like Dovid haMelech said, ‘Were your Torah not my loving occupation, I would be lost in my poverty.’ The heart who seeks Hashem shall rejoice.” And what happens if a man loses his joy, then he starts to complain, and his house falls apart. But if he has spiritual joy and he feels satisfied, so everything in life is good, and his house is also good. He says, “Every individual can find his own spirituality, his own way. Somebody could write this book, he could write that book. You can open an organization that can help people – different ways to find spirituality to bring them into your house, which is going to make you happy, and make your house happy.”
He brings a story. There was once two yeshiva bochurim, both of them got married at the same time. They were both chevrusas, and they were both very good students. But one went up, and one went down. As time went by, he spoke to the second avreich, and the avreich came and said, “Oy. My mazel was horrible.” He says, he’s unhappy all the time, full of complaints. He was complaining, the kollel, it’s giving me such little money, how am I supposed to live like this? He comes home tense and anxious. He doesn’t feel honored in his house, his wife doesn’t give him any honor. His whole world has gone black. So, after he spoke to him for a while, he checked out what was missing and he understood that the boy lost his enthusiasm for learning. What was he doing? He’d show up late to kollel, he would take trips here and there. He was trying to do things to avoid learning.
Now, what happened? The Rosh Kollel began complaining. And instead of the boy admitting, you’re right, I have to do something, he claimed he was being persecuted, and now he feels broken. So, the Rav said to him, “Look at the difference between you and your chevrusah, who’s still learning. Isn’t your situation due to the fact that once you got pleasure from learning Torah, but now you don’t get the pleasure. Where do you expect to find fulfillment? How do you expect to be happy? Real happiness only comes from spirituality.”
One time, somebody came to the Beis Halevy and says, “Hey, don’t you remember me? We learned for several years. We used to slide in the snow together in the winter.” He says, “I don’t understand. You became a great Rav, and I became nothing.” He says, “It’s true. That’s because you slid downwards, and I slid upwards.” Without deep Torah study and mitzvos, a ben Torah feels no fulfillment and this leads to steep deterioration. He brings the Midrash Tanhuma that says like this. “One time it said that two birds were fighting, and one bird killed the other bird. And the one that killed the other one picked up some grass, put it in the bird’s mouth, and the bird came back to life. So, a man who was watching this took some of that grass with him, and he went off. As he was going, he saw a dead lion lying on the side of the road. So, he took some of the grass and put it in the lion’s mouth. What happened? The lion became alive, and ate him. That was the moshul, what’s the nimshal, conclusion? If you try to find too much joy and happiness in the material world, it’s like feeding a dangerous lion.
He says, “If you want to see true happiness, you should have come to the Chazon Ish’s house. He was sitting there with a small Gemara and a couple of Rishonim, early commentaries, and he was immersed in learning. At the same time his door was open to everyone. People came in for eitzos, advice. Any cheder boy, school boy could recognize this was true happiness.” He said, “One time I just traveled to Bnai Brak to watch the Chazon Ish daven, pray for an hour. I felt that I was in front of a man who was really singing to God.” He says, “A wise person should use his marriage and his house to grow spiritually. And if you grow spiritually, you’ll really be happy. And then you’ll have a happy home.”
Okay, that’s it for this week’s Torah podcast. Please share it with your friends, and please leave comments.
Rabbi Eliyahu Mitterhoff