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Children's Corner - Bechukotai

Once the Mitteler Rebbe was sent on a mission by his father. He had to spend Shabbos in a small town on the way. The chassidim in the town were happy to be able to host such a great man. They carefully watched every movement which he made. To their amazement, the Mitteler Rebbe fainted in the middle of the Torah reading.

After the Mitteler Rebbe regained consciousness, the chassidim asked if they should call a doctor.

“No,” replied the Mitteler Rebbe. “I am not sick. I fainted because I was shocked by the severe words in the Torah reading.”

The chassidim knew that the tochachah, the possukim which describe how HaShem will punish people who do not observe His mitzvos, is indeed severe. Still they didn’t understand. “Surely, you have heard this portion before. What disturbed you so much this time?” they asked the Mitteler Rebbe.

The Mitteler Rebbe answered, “It’s as if I’ve never heard these words before. Until today, I always heard this portion read by my father. Today, it sounded so different.”

Didn’t the Alter Rebbe read the same words? Why did it sound so different this time?

The strong words of the tochachah didn’t sound so severe to the Mitteler Rebbe because he heard it from his father.

And every Jew is able to hear the tochachah in the very same way if he listens closely, remembering the words are coming from our Father, HaShem.

Our fathers do everything they can for our good. Sometimes we understand how the things they do help us, and sometimes we don’t. No matter what happens, we do know that our fathers want to help us.

The same is true about HaShem. Everything that HaShem does is a blessing. Sometimes we can see His blessings immediately and sometimes we don’t, but everything HaShem does is for our own good.

Our Sages tell us that Nachum Ish Gamzu would always say gam zu letovah, “This is also for the good,” and that Rabbi Akiva would say, kol man d’ovid Rochmana l’tov ovid, “Everything that HaShem does is for the best.” They knew how to see HaShem’s goodness in everything which happened to them.

(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, Parshas Bechukosai; Vol. IV, Parshas Ki Savo)



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