Positive Vision - Day 51
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger
Our weekly excerpt from the book "Positive Vision"
Day 51 - Everything Is Not Relative - The Standard Bearers of Kedushah
We have seen that Klal Yisrael’s role as the flag bearers of Hashem’s Name demands that we live according to a higher standard. This concept is an expression of noblesse oblige, the concept that with privilege comes responsibility.
The Dubno Maggid, however, takes this to a whole different level and presents his case with yet another mashal.
A wealthy man once traveled from his backwater village to the big city in search of a husband for his daughter. He went to the most prestigious yeshivah in the city and approached the Rosh Yeshivah.
“I want the best young man, the brightest, the biggest masmid, for my daughter ... and I am willing to pay whatever it costs.”
The Rosh Yeshivah pointed out a young man, the young couple met and married. The wealthy man desired the company of his children so he brought the couple back to live in the village.
The wealthy man kept his end of the bargain and supported the young couple handsomely, but was disappointed with his son-in-law. The boy, who was formerly the biggest masmid in the yeshivah, became increasingly lazy. Instead of remaining 14 hours in the beis midrash the hours increasingly dwindled to 8 to 6 to 5. His father-in law approached him and complained, but the son-in law defended himself.
“True, when I was in yeshivah I learned 14 hours a day, but come by just one day into the shul in this village and observe what is going on. No one is ever there. My 5 hours in the beis midrash is so much more than anyone else in town.”
The father-in-law would have none of it.
“When I went to the Rosh Yeshivah and asked for, and paid for the biggest masmid in the yeshivah, I wanted the one who was learning there. I don’t care how much you learn relative to the ignorant people in this town. I am not interested in a “relative” masmid; I want a true masmid.”
Says the Dubno Maggid:
The Torah writes, You shall be holy because I am Holy. This means that just as My Holiness is not a relative kedushah but an intrinsic kedushah, so shall yours be.
Don’t rate yourself against the world out there. In today’s milieu, kedushah is simply non-existent. If we judge ourselves against that standard of the world at large, even a modicum of holiness will suffice. No. We must strive to be the standard bearers of holiness, to show the rest of the world that the concept of kedushah is alive and well.
We do not rate our morality against the norm in the world. We act as a standard bearer for mankind.
We carry Hashem’s Name, as we say in davening, ּושׁמנּו קרתאָ בּשׁמך , You have called us in Your Name. What is Hashem’s Name? It is Kadosh, as we say in davening, קדֹוׁש
אתּה קדֹוׁש וְִשׁמך, You are Kadosh and Your Name is Kadosh.
We, who have the privilege and responsibility of carrying this Name, must behave according to the dictates of kedushah in order to bring honor to His Name: And the holy ones praise You each and every day.