Home / Torah-time / Joining-the-marine-park-core-13


Observations of a “Little-Fall(s)” Guy

Rabbi Hillel L. Yarmove ©

It’s high time for a noticeable and striking change of seasons; after all, we already experienced the autumnal equinox over a month ago. Baruch Hashem, we certainly had a massive helping of summer—and its concomitant heat waves. We’ve even sweltered in the recent past during what is commonly termed “Indian summer.” So now it’s time, it would seem to me, for a little fall.

Speaking of which: During this past summer season, I was zocheh to visit what is indisputably deemed to be one of the wonders of the natural world—Niagara Falls—with the masmidim of New York’s flagship Camp Agudah. Certainly, this was not my first time. In the past I often accompanied our dear Menahel Ruchani, Harav HaGaon R’ Chaim Yisroel Belsky, zt”l, with whom I was particularly close, as he shepherded us around the Falls, all the while being in the highest of spirits. You see, Harav Belsky was in many ways his very own Niagara Falls, For if millions of gallons pass over the Falls every minute, then we could say that since “ein mayim ella Torah,” our Rav was a living, moving dynamic fountain of water in his own right. Whether in instilling within us an incredible simchas hachaim through a stirring shiur (lesson) or through a hertzige shir (song), Harav Belsky proved to us that in order   to become a veritable, viable talmid chacham, you had to get all wet—in the waters of Torah, of course.

Or put another way, you had to become a genuine little waterfall of your own.

Now after the passing of our great Rav, his gifted son Harav Elimelech, n”y, has assumed the mantle of flowing waters which his saintly father , as it were, bequeathed him. He too is a man full of shiur and shir. At Niagara Falls this past summer (as in one previous summer as well), his very presence gave the world-famous Niagara Falls yet another, almost unworldly dimension. Gevaldig!

When a great Niagara of a man, himself a spontaneous gushing of the thirst-slaking words of Torah, departs this world, we find ourselves not only bereft of his comforting presence, but also parched for the waters which flowed so seemingly effortlessly from his chashuve mouth. Isn’t that so?

But what about the rest of us—we, who might best be described as “little waterfalls”? 

Interestingly enough, during Rosh Hashanah, I was reminded that little sources of water can be quite impressive, too.  Why, right here in Marine Park, I was touched to the soul by a tiny body of water replete with goldfish (“cousins“of carp, remember?), continuously replenished by a miniature water source all its own. Located on the corner of Kimball Street and Avenue P, this fishpond became the locus of my Tashlich supplications. Indeed, the fishlach so merrily cavorting in this miniature body of water reminded me that we Yidden should always be zocheh to fulfill the Ya’akov Avinu’s behest “v’yidgu larov b’kerev ha’aretz” (Bereishis 48:16).

Such a small “pond” can make such a great impression? Ungloiblich!

Perhaps then, in the guise of “little falls” we must redouble our efforts to give even more of our precious, trickling Torah-infused waters to our children, grandchildren, students, and friends than we have in the past. In so doing, we might very well bring nachas ruach to our spiritual paragons who have so inspired us by the depth of their spirituality and the refreshment of their waters.

For, at the end of the day, there is just no water like Torah. And when it comes to giants, there simply are no falls like Niagara! And yet, and yet . . . .

As I stated above, now more than ever, as we approach mid-autumn each of us should prepare himself/ herself to become a “little fall”—a cascade and font of Torah wisdom and practice! 

Go for it!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Questions or comments? I may be reached at hillyarm@yeshivanet.com. A meaningful and edifying autumn to all of you, dear readers!

Other author's posts
Leave a Reply
Stay With Us