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A Timely Torah Message By Shaya Gross

Enthusiasm & A Fresh Start
[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.]

The Gemara tells us ‘JUST LIKE we decrease Simcha in Av, we increase Simcha in Adar.’ These two statements seem to be two separate ideas. If so, why does the Gemara combine the two ideas together by saying ‘Just like?’

Rav Betzalel Rudinsky and others explain that we know in Av, the lessening of Simcha is a gradual process. First there’s Rosh Chodesh, then there’s the week that Tisha B’av falls out in, then there’s Erev Tisha B’av. At each stage, there’s a progressive decrease in Simcha until finally on Tisha B’av, there’s the least amount of Simcha.
So too in Adar with the opposite way, our Simcha should increase progressively every day more and more, until a climax on Purim [in fact, according to some, the Simcha continues even after Purim as we will hopefully discuss then!]

Now as Adar is beginning, let us all try to get off to a fresh new start in serving Hashem with joy. May our collective increase in Simcha in Avodas Hashem in this month with the full climax on Purim, serve to protect us from modern day Persia and all its dangers. May there be very soon a total ‘vinahafuch hoo’ on the modern day Haman and all his evil plans.

{Editor’s note: In this week’s Parsha, at the conclusion of the building of the Mishkan, Moshe blesses the Jewish People that Hashem should dwell in their midst in the Mishkan.
Rabbi Frand quotes R’ Simcha Schepps, a Rosh Yeshivah in Torah Vadas who shares a beautiful insight into this bracha.

R’ Schepps was bothered: why did Moshe wait until the end of the whole process of the collecting and building of the Mishkan to give this brachah? Why didn’t Moshe give this brachah at the onset of the building campaign?

Rav Schepps answers based on a pasuk in Tehillim: “Who will go up upon the Mountain of Hashem and who will rise up to His holy place?” [Tehillim 24:3]. All the commentaries say that this pasuk alludes to the fact that there are two different challenges in life. There is the “Who will go up upon the Mountain of Hashem?” This means who has the strength of character and the drive to go up to the Mountain of G-d? This is one challenge. But there is an even greater challenge than getting up there. The greater challenge is once you are already at the top of the mountain, to be able to stay up there.

In fact, it is easier to climb to the top of the Mountain of Hashem than it is to remain there. Repetition and boredom set in. The day in, day out, monotony sets in. Remaining on the Mountain of the L-rd is a much more difficult task than going up there in the first place.

This is a challenge that we all face in our daily lives. We can all remember the first time that we started something, there is that freshness, that newness. The first day of school, with our fresh knapsacks, new notebooks, pens, pencils ready to start off the year and make it an awesome year! And then comes Monotony with all of it’s powers and slowly drains us of that enthusiasm for school, life, marriage or whatever else we may be involved in.

This is why Moshe specifically waited until after Klal Yisroel built the Mishkan, and was about to start using the Mishkan day in and day out, to give them a bracha to continue that enthusiasm and not lose it as they go about their daily life.

May we all try to incorporate this lesson in our daily life to keep our enthusiasm going and to continue to create a freshness in whatever way we serve Hashem.

Have an enthusiastic good Shabbos!}

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