Chabad Lubavitch of Mid-Hudson Valley Newsletter
Friday July 29, 2011
Tamuz 27, 5771
Blessing of New Month
Pirkai Avot chapter 2
A word from the Rabbi
Chabad Hebrew School
Registration for the upcoming new yehebrew schoolar of Hebrew School is now open.
Please register today! To receive a registration please click here. To receive a curriculum packet please call Hindy Borenstein at 845-463-5801.
One nice day, the Russian czar decided to make a surprise visit to an army base somewhere in Russia. Dressed in civilian clothing, he trudged through the snow. When he finally reached the base, he found it neglected and empty. A Russian himself, the czar knew where to find his men: in the tavern. Indeed, the tavern was full of soldiers making merry and drinking hard. The czar stood at the side, waiting.
Finally, about two hours later, one soldier stood up and reminded his comrades of their duties and how they better go back before the general would arrive to the base.
Hanging on each other for support and balance, the drunken soldiers began the mile-long trek “home”. Foot by foot, step by step, men were falling. What had begun as a group of two hundred soon dwindled down to a mere handful. And the czar didn’t do a thing.
About five feet before the gate, a soldier collapsed. The czar walked over to him and made a red mark on his neck. Two feet ahead, another soldier collapsed. Only three soldiers made it to the base.
The next day, the whole division was informed of an imminent inspection by the czar. The soldiers quickly got into high alert, cleaning and polishing. This was no joke. The czar walked through the rows of soldiers, oblivious to the cleanliness and effort of his men. He was looking for something; he was after the mark.
And he saw it. He ran up to the soldier, raised his hand and slapped the lad over and over, mercilessly.
With the last ounce of his strength, the beaten soldier begged for an explanation. The czar replied that this was a consequence for him going to the bar.
The beaten soldier was at loss. “But, but…. everyone else went!” he sputtered. “Besides, I deserve credit for making it so close to base.”
The czar looked at him thoughtfully and said, “We are humans, and humans make mistakes. Am I upset that my soldiers left their posts? Yes, but I can understand and forgive them.
“Why do I forgive them? Because when those drunken soldiers fell to the floor, I watched how they fell with their head towards the base, proving their commitment and loyalty to the place where they want to be – my army. Okay they failed, but their hearts were in the right place.
“You on the other hand made it almost all the way – your body was in the right place, your heart however was in the wrong place. How do I know? Because when you fell, you fell backwards, your head away from the base. Thus, your true loyalties were revealed.”
What a lesson for life!
It’s now so much where you reach in life; it is where you are headed. As long as we are on the right road, G-d can forgive us for the reverses. However if we’re on route 95 instead of route 75, the more we travel, the further we are from where we should have begun…
‘Massei’ – journeys is the name of our Parshah in which the 42 journeys of the children of Israel are discussed in detail. Note how we refer to those 42 steps as journeys, not as stops.
Forward. One step at a time…
Rabbi & Mrs Yacov Borenstein
To learn more about the Rebbe, click on the picture above.
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