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A Timely Torah Message By Shaya Gross

Reaching for Greater Heights & The Power of a Compliment

When the the Jews came to donate for the Mishkan, the Pasuk tell us that the men came ‘על’ the women. The simple meaning of ‘על’ is that the men came “with” the women. Homiletically, the Chidushai Harim explains that the men were “above” the women in their spiritual level. Why was this the case? He explains that we know that the donations to the Mishkan were an atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf. We also know that it was only the men who sinned, but the women refused to participate. And since the Gemara in Brachos tells us that Baalei Teshuva reach heights that even Tzadikim can’t attain, now that the men were doing Teshuva, they reached levels even higher than the women.

Of course, one should never sin with this idea in mind (that he is sinning in order to achieve higher and “loftier” levels). One who sins with the intent that he’ll do Teshuva later is prevented by Heaven from doing Teshuva. But if a person has sinned, he must never give up, for not only can one repent, but through his repentance, he can reach a higher level than he was at before!
Now that we have just experienced Purim, where we commemorate the Jews re-accepting the Torah and repenting out of love for Hashem [and not just out of fear], let us all try to work on repenting with love for any sins we may have done, and then merit like then to be saved from all the wicked people who seek to destroy us, and merit the final redemption speedily in our days.

{Editor’s note: I read an inspiring story that I would like to share with you.
“What a nice kid,” Mr. Abrams thought to himself. He had just seen one of the Zingbaum children in shul, and the boy had given him a warm smile along with a sweet “Good morning.” He saw the Zingbaum kids all the time and always walked away thinking the same thought about them. “I really should call their mother and tell her,” he thought to himself.
By the time he got home, he had made up his mind to actually make the call. He took the phone book and looked up the number. After four rings, he heard a tired voice answer. “Mrs. Zingbaum?” he asked. “This is Mr. Abrams. I just wanted to tell you that you have wonderful kids.”
There was silence on the other end. It can’t be that I heard what I think I heard, Batya Zingbaum thought to herself. “What did you say?” she asked him.

“I said you have really terrific kids and I wanted to tell you that it’s not only a reflection of all the time and energy you put into them, it’s because of your husband, too. I see him at Avos U’banim and I see him with them in Shul. The connection they have is not that common, it’s really quite impressive.”
After another short silence, Mrs. Zingbaum spoke, but this time it was a totally different tone of voice. She sounded…choked up. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this call. Here it is, erev shabbos, and I didn’t have any energy or motivation. It’s been a long week. Hearing what you think of my family has just infused me with a fresh desire to prepare Shabbos for them. I don’t know how to thank you.”
“Don’t thank me,” Mr. Abrams responded. “Just keep up the good work and have lots of nachas.”
Sunday evening, Mr. Abrams’s teenage daughter Leah came home from school. “Daddy,” she cried excitedly, “you’ve got to hear this. Pnini Zingbaum is in my class. She said that because of your phone call they had an unbelievable Shabbos. She said her mother was in a fantastic mood and her parents got along so well. She said it’s never like that, since the financial pressure the family is under always makes the atmosphere tense. But this Shabbos was me’ein olam haba. All because of your phone call.”
All it took was one phone call and a person’s entire Shabbos was changed. Sometimes all it takes is one comment or small smile…
Seen in Shabbos Table Impact by R’ Dovid Kaplan.}

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