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Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Dvar Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states: ‘ And the Almighty said to Avram, ‘Go from your land and your birthplace and from the house of your father to the land which I will show you’ ” (Gen.12:1). Rabbi Nachum of Tzernoble devoted much time and effort to redeeming Jews who were put into prisons by anti-Semitic regimes.  He travelled from place to place gathering funds to make the payments necessary to free those imprisoned.  Once when he was in Zhitomer, some people fabricated a libel against him and he was put in prison.

A friend came to him in prison to comfort him and give him a positive perspective on his situation.  He said to Rabbi Nachum, “Our forefather Avraham was outstanding in his kindness to wayfarers.  He took in people who were traveling and expended great efforts to make his guests comfortable.  He always wanted to know what more he could possibly do to help his guest.  The Almighty told him to travel away from his father’s home, his birthplace, and his land.  Only now when he personally experiences being a stranger in a foreign place will he know firsthand what it is like.  This will give him a greater appreciation of what he can do to help his guests.”

“Similarly with you,” his friend told him.  “You are completely devoted to freeing prisoners.  From Heaven they are giving you a chance to experience what it is like to be held captive by the enemies of our people.  This will give you an even deeper appreciation of the necessity of doing all you can to free other people in the future with all possible speed.”

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony