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Shabbat Parashat Va'eira| 5765
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Farewell Address to K’far Haroeh (5726) - Part III - From Gaon Batorah U’vamidot, pp. 301-304
[Last time we dealt with the idea of the importance of a feeling of walking together. This applies between the rav and his congregation and between different generations, that those who have already accomplished should present themselves in the same light as those starting out.]
Demands of self-motivation can be made of the younger generation as well as the older. “Not with you alone …” (Devarim 29:13). [This is a reference to the idea that the covenant Hashem made with Bnei Yisrael was made even with future generations.] Through the Torah, the boundaries of time disappear. When we open a sefer and delve into study, we do not feel that the discussions are from ancient times. Rather, they happen now, as we cause the Talmudic sages to speak and teach us in the present. It is this secret of the eternity of Israel that erases distinctions between the past and the present.
The young families of K’far Haroeh must see themselves as walking together with the older ones. We should address all ages in the same way, as young people should know that they continue the path. Chazal tell us that Yitzchak resembled Avraham. They shared a thought process and direction. Furthermore, the younger people must realize that their elders do not have the same strength that they had decades ago. They should help out in a natural way, without stressing that they are compensating for the weakness of another. The intermingling of generations must also exist in the spiritual realm. A father and son should sit together in a shiur in parasha or daf yomi. They should be as one generation, with the older people feeling the fire of youth and the young soaking in the experience of the old. This unity should also be felt in regard to building for the future.
Personally, I have mixed emotions. I, more than others assembled here, feel “lech lecha,” that I am embarking on an unknown journey. Despite the joyous tension of the responsibility of my new position [member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem], you know that I made no efforts to obtain that position. I had always planned to continue with the community here, but we don’t always set our own course in life. The connections that have developed over the last 28 years, during which time I have doubled my age and have gone from a single man to a man with a rabbanit, a family, and a situation of lacking nothing, will not be severed. It is here that I have been as if born anew.
I remember the night of my installment on a Chanuka night. It was held in the hut that served as our shul, by candlelight, as the electricity was not yet installed. The Chanuka lights shone in a warm, encouraging way. The young group was dressed in what was considered festive clothes, khaki pants and a white shirt. The young community had little materially but had a lot spiritually. It accepted a new experiment, to bring a rav, as was customary in the old-style community throughout the ages. These were young people, who formed the model of the working, religious community, who thought they would change the world. They resolved to support a new family, even when they did not know how they would support their own families. Then came the events of war and formation of the State. Memories come back of the excitement at the proclamation of the formation of the State. We saw the children grow and create their own families, as well as some of the older people passing on.
All of this serves as an unbreakable connection. Let us hope that we will have opportunities to meet together and experience “the sitting of brothers together” and continue with “they walked together,” whether between the rav and his community or in the interaction of the various generations.
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