Reflecting on a Bee’s Sting
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.]
Editor’s note: As we go into Rosh Hashanah, here are two brief Divrei Torah I would like to share.
As is our custom on Rosh Hashana night, we dip the apple into honey as a merit to have a sweet new year.
The Avnei Nezer explains that the reason why we use honey is because honey comes from bees that sting us and cause us pain.
The obvious question is that if we are trying to signify something sweet, why should we choose something which is acquired with such pain? To get the honey out of the beehive a person has to cover himself up as much as possible and then take the honeycombs out of the hive. The bees are not happy and find a way to get under his protective clothing and sting him. It is a lot of work and causes him tremendous pain. Why should this be the symbol of a sweet new year?
Rabbi Yisroel Reisman explains that something which is easily sweet is just not sweet, it is not the sweetness that human beings experience. Sweetness is something which comes with hard work. Something which comes with a few bee stings attached to it. Life and success in life comes with sacrifice. That is why we use honey from bees to symbolize that just as honey is acquired through suffering and hard work but ends up being sweet, so too, the pain and suffering that we endured this past year will be the sweetness of our future.
A second thought: I heard a beautiful thought from Rabbi Yosef Berger (a Rav in Baltimore). Rabbi Berger said that when Rosh Hashana is approaching, people will often reflect on all the bad things that happened in the past year to themselves or to people they know. They think about all the people who died or experienced sickness etc. But they neglect to think about all the good that Hashem has bestowed on them as well. The countless births, marriages of young and older singles, simchos, parnasah, etc. He said that we have to keep in mind all the good things that happen to us and that if we would think about how much good Hashem does for us on a daily basis, we would feel indebted to Hashem and act differently.
May we all use these precious upcoming days to get closer to Hashem and daven for all the things we need and to recognize that Hashem is our King and can do anything and through that merit the ultimate Geulah with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days!
Ksivah Vchasimah Tovah!