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Thought for the Day: Klal Yisrael is Kol Yachid v'Yachid

I heard the most amazing story about R' Shach, tzt"l.  A group of rabbanim were waiting to meet with him on an important matter for the klal.  A father with his young son came to get a bracha from the rav. As they rabbanim were waiting for everyone to gather, they told the father to go ahead in with his son for a bracha.  After about five minutes, all had assembled and were ready to meet with the rav.  They just needed to wait till the father and son finished.  They waited and waited... 10 minutes, 20 minutes... finally after nearly a half hour, the father and son came out.  Before the rabbei'im could enter, though, they were told that the rav was exhausted and would have to reschedule.  They all looked to the father who didn't know what to say.

What had happened?  The father went to ask R' Shach for a bracha that his soon should have a cheishek (strong desire) for learning.  R' Shach asked the boy what he was learning, then took down a gemara and started learning the sugya with him.  Back and forth, question and answer, for nearly a half hour.  Can you imagine the high that boy must have been on after that?  The enthusiasm he must still have for learning?  "I learned with R' Shach!"  When R' Shach was later asked about how he justified learning with one boy at the expense of helping klal yisrael, his response was simple.  "That is klal yisrael."

In truth, this goes well with how the S'porno explains the question and answer (as presented in Chumash) of the "wicked" son.  Question: "mah ha'avoda ha'zos lachem?"/What is the service to you?  Answer: "Pesach la'Shem hi."/It's the pesach of HaShem.  The son is asking two things, why is this korban being done so late in the afternoon and why so many?  If it's a korban tzibur (as I see from that fact that everyone is obligated), then just have one, like all other community offerings.  The father answers in order.  We are preparing now for the pesach of HaShem later at midnight.  A korban can only be prepared during the day, though, so we are doing it as late in the day as possible to be as close as possible to the event.  Why so many?  Because the way you make a tzibur is with every yachid v'yachid.

Bracha comes from each one of use being involved with each Jew who needs help as if the success of klal yisrael depends on his success and you are the only one who can help him.  Because that's true.


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