Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Tzaddik's Blessing

I'm not the only one! For years, I've thought that I must be crazy for many reasons, one being that I just don't get why people travel all over the world and spend a good deal of time and money on obtaining the blessing of a particular righteous rabbi. "Rabbi X is in town? Great, I'll go spend three hours waiting on line so that I can get his 10-second blessing. He's a big rabbi, right? Because I've never actually heard of him."

R. Berel Wein writes the following:

A second lesson inherent in the story of Sodom is that even the most righteous person in the world – our father Avraham – cannot save other people simply with his blessings and entreaties. People, communities, nations, have to save themselves. Avraham can guide and teach, serve as an example and role model, influence and lead, but in the last analysis only Sodom can save Sodom, only Lot can save Lot. There is a great reliance in the religious and general world upon others to somehow pull us through. People are willing to invest a great deal of time, effort and money to obtain the blessings of a righteous person to solve their problems. The same effort invested in their own personal attempts to improve themselves in their daily behavior would perhaps produce greater and more beneficial results than blessings from others, no matter how great those others are.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More