Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Mother's Perspective

Audio Version By Rabbi Sholem Perl

This week's Haftora is the fourth Haftora of consoling. First, Nachamu Nachamu, the consoling through prophets, but that is not enough, we want the real thing, and so now Hashem himself is doing the consoling.

The Haftora begins, "It is I, it is I, Who consoles you." The Midrash on this verse says, "It is the way of a father to be compassionate..., and it is the way of a mother to console..., Hashem says, 'I will do (both) that of the father and that of the mother.'" In other words, the double expression of "It is I, it is I," means, that Hashem will be compassionate and He will also console us.

What is the difference between compassion (rachamim), and consoling (nechama)? How will these two be expressed when Moshiach will come?

Both compassion and consoling are dealing with a painful situation. The difference is, that compassion is dealing with the pain, fixing the problem so that it ceases to exist. With consoling, the issue remains, however, you are comforted, finding a way to cope with the pain.

The same is when Moshiach will come. First, there will be consoling, as we will intellectually understand that the suffering wasn't in vain. But then the revelation will increase, bringing the resurrection of the dead, and we won't need consoling anymore. For starters, we will be reunited with our loved ones, and even more, we will begin to see the world from Hashem's perspective. We will see how everything we went through was good. In other words, the pain and suffering will not only cease to exist, it will be as if it was never there to begin with.

This is the difference between our perspective, seeing things from below, and Hashem's perspective, seeing things from above. From above everything is perfect, from below things can be perceived as flawed. For example, gazing out at a beautiful expanse, you are taken by the breathtaking scene, it is perfect and you don't want to leave. However, when you take a walk through the beautiful expanse, you begin to see flaws.

Now, if you think about it, these flaws are part of what makes the expanse so beautiful. Then, perhaps they are not flaws at all, just perceived flaws, which are truly perfection.

When Moshiach comes we will see how everything is truly perfect. But you don't have to wait for Moshiach to come to take on this perspective. The more you learn about Hashem, the more you become in tune with His view of things. This is why great Tzadikim remain happy through poverty and suffering. They are so aligned with Hashem, they don't perceive the bad at all, from their perspective everything is perfect.

We too can take advantage of this way of thinking. When going through a difficult time, when Hashem hands you difficulties, you could see it as flaws and bad, or you can choose to see it from Hashem's perspective, that this too is perfect and good.

This is a lesson I learned from my mother. Growing up with my older brother Shalom, a special needs boy, she never treated him as anything less than perfect. It was not easy and is still not easy, but she sees him as the gift from Hashem that he is, and understands that Hashem wanted her to mother him, in the way that only she can.

May Hashem send Moshiach already, we are ready for the consoling, the compassion and the perfection. May it happen soon.

Dedicated to my beautiful and wonderful mother, who's birthday was this week. May she be blessed with many happy years to come.


  1. Very touching and sincerely written, to read and reflect upon.

    Your love and respect shown towards your mother is beautiful.

    I have enjoyed listening to this song all week and now your blog has topped it all off. Thank you for sharing.
    I hope you can be blessed by listening to this lovely song.

    יונינה- אהבה (קליפ אולפן) ~ (Yonina- Ahava (Music Video


  2. I love reading your Dvar Torah each week! Your words are filled with inspiration and hope. Thank you! Good Shabbos and happy birthday to your mother