‫בס"ד‬

‫פרשת תרומה תש"ע‬
‫ר"ם בישיבת רבנו יצחק אלחנן‬

‫שיחות רב עוזר‬
Alone

Insights into Torah and Halacha from Rav Ozer Glickman ‫שליט"א‬
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ָ ‫וְע֥שׂוּ ל֖י מקְדָ ּשׁ וְשׁכנְתִ ּי בּתוֹכָ ֽם׃‬ ְ ֖ ַ ָֽ ֑ ִ ִ I returned to the city of my birth last Shabbos as the guest of a shul there. The community had invited me to serve as what we call in ‫ לשון גוזמא‬a scholar in residence. My presentations weren't very scholarly and two nights on a pullout bed can hardly be called residence. It was nevertheless very special. Just blocks from my boyhood home in Northeast Philadelphia, and together with my sister, her husband, children and grandchildren, I experienced a rush of memories of the sixteen years of my life in that city before my childhood ended with the loss of my father ‫.ע"ה‬ On Sunday morning, my nephew drove me to Wynnefield where I had the opportunity to deliver a shiur b'iyun to serious b'nai Torah and then visit with the Kaminetsky family both with the saintly Rebbetzin '‫ שתח‬at home and with her son Rav Shalom Kaminetsky ‫ שליט"א‬in the famed Philly yeshiva. It has been almost forty-three years since I last stepped into that sacred place. It was smaller than I remembered but much warmer. Exchanging words of Torah with Rav Shalom was an immense privilege and an immeasurable pleasure. Sitting with Rav Shalom, it wasn't ‫ ,פרק המניח את הכד‬the ‫ גירסא דינקותא‬with which I struggled in that very room, that crept into my thoughts. It was a poem I learned with my Hebrew teacher at Gratz College that year, Mrs. Balfoura Held: ‫( לבדי‬Alone) by Haim Nachman Bialik ‫ .ע"ה‬When I thought about it later, it seemed sacrilegious, at least at first. Bialik laments the deserted ‫ ,בית המדרש‬narrow and dark, where the ‫ שכינה‬huddles in a darkened corner. The poet senses himself alone under the broken wings of the Shekhina. It was once surrounded by flocks of birds who have flown away toward the light outside. He senses himself a fledging, for he too will be borne away like the wind. As Philadelphia receded in my rear view mirror, I wondered why Bialik came to me. I feel more at home in the ‫ בית המדרש‬than I ever have. I am surrounded continually by younger minds with fresh enthusiasm for the ‫ הוויות דאביי ורבא‬that animate me. And yet there is a palpable sense of solitariness that afflicts a man of a certain age and perhaps those of other ages as well. I feel it particularly in places in which I have not been for some time. In the command to build the ‫ מקדש‬in ‫ ,פרשת תרומה‬the nation is charged with preparing a separate place designated for Him so that He may dwell among ‫.בני ישראל‬ The end of the ‫ פסוק‬is unexpected: the ‫ מקדש‬is constructed not so ‫ הקב"ה‬can dwell in it (‫ )בתוכו‬but among them (‫ .)בתוכם‬A physical locale cannot contain a non-corporeal Entity. When the people coalesce around that place, however, the ‫ שכינה‬is present. Our lives are constructed not around place but around the people who dwell together with us in them. The tragedy and the promise of our lives is that there is an ever changing cast around us. On the long drive back to Teaneck, I thought about the people

who made me what I am today whom I first encountered in Philadelphia. They define that place for me. And so it was for Bialik: ‫בָּדָד, בָּדָד נִשְׁאַרְתִּי, וְהַשְּׁכִינָה אַף-הִיא‬ .‫כְּנַף יְמִינָהּ הַשְּׁבוּרָה עַל-רֹאשִׁי הִרְעִידָה‬ Alone, I was left alone, and the Shekhina as well, Her broken right wing trembling over my head. When we lose the people who define our world, the Shekhina is, ‫ ,כביכול‬diminished and we feel abandoned and alone. ,‫כֻּלָּם נָשָׂא הָרוּחַ, כֻּלָּם פָּרְחוּ לָהֶם‬ ...‫וָאִוָּתֵר לְבַדִּי, לְבַדִּי‬ They all were borne by the wind, flown away, and I remain alone, alone... But there are new people who come in their place: sons, daughters, and grandchildren. The ‫ בית המדרש‬fills every year with new faces and new songs of Torah. And sometimes I catch a glimpse of my mother in a daughter's smile, my father's laugh in my own at a son's antics, the words of my teacher in the questions of my student. The ‫ שכינה‬grows fuller when my place fills with those who share the brief episode in time alloted me on this earth and the pain of loneliness recedes. ‫שבת שלום‬
These sichos are published by students of Rav Ozer Glickman shlit"a. We can be reached at ravglickmanshiur@gmail.com Rav Glickman can be reached directly at ozer.glickman@yu.edu

Come hear Rav Glickman on the road: February 19-20, Dallas Texas Scholar in Residence Congregation Shaare Tefilla Rabbi Ari Perl ‫שליט"א‬ In honor of the Quadrennial ‫ חג הסמיכה‬and Rabbi Joe Hirsch ‫ נ"י‬and Rabbi Jay Weinstein ‫.נ"י‬ Friday evening between Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv: Is there a Uniquely Jewish Business Ethic? Friday evening Oneg Shabbat: Jewish College Students and the Marketplace of Ideas Saturday morning after Tefilla: The Man in the Mirror: Is He as Honest as He Looks? Seudah Shlishit: Shopping for God in the Marketplace of Orthodoxy Motzaei Shabbat Good Deal: Bringing Jewish Ethics to the Boardroom Table

TO BRING RAV GLICKMAN TO YOUR COMMUNITY, KINDLY CONTACT: Ms. Rebecca Goldberg YU Center for the Jewish Future rebecca.goldberg@yu.edu 212-960-5400 ext.6350

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