17/1/2015; 26 Shevat 5775, 14th Yahrtzeit of Yitz Feldman zt”l
It is so very difficult to believe, that it is already fourteen years, that our beloved Yitz, is no longer with us. I will write about this fact, a little later on. What I should like to begin with is, what we can learn from the heading above, including the dates, that says so much about Yitz.
Let us begin with 17/1. This reminds me of Ma’a’say Bi’ray’sheet.
We know “1” that is Hashem, began the story of creation, and after each day, other than the second day, it would end by stating,
” Va’yar Elokim ki Tov”. And we know Tov in gematria is our “17”. But what does Tov mean? I suggest it means “to give”. Yes Hashem gave us all that He did, because He is good, in wanting to give us, what we needed to move forward. And in this regard, this midah of giving, is what set our Yitz apart, from so many others. He believed in the principle, that to make friends, the way to do so, is to give of yourself to another, even if the other is someone, with whom for the moment, the relationship is not good. And if so, because of this, should Hashem not have visited him with rachamim, as he was niftar on “26” Shevat? Did He? We will see this shortly
And how do we see this principle, enacted between a husband and a wife? We recall what it states, ” lo tov li’hiyot adam li’vado”. It is not good for man to be alone, and why not? It is because he has no one to “give’ to, be it his love, the making of a family or material gifts.
And this probably is why, it does not say “tov” after the second day. It is because on that date, the waters were separated, causing dissension. Yes, the word “tov”, could be used two times, when dealing with the wonderful close warm relationship there was, between Yitz and his beloved Bella A”H, one tov for each of them. For they were forever giving of themselves to the other. In fact what always impressed me, was how one of them would begin a thought, and almost without fail, the other would complete the thought, so in tune were they with each other.
We mentioned before, that Hashem dealt with our Yitz, with the midah of rachamim. Let us explore this statement. If one has beetachon, then all that comes your way, or happens to you is from Hashem, and you may not appreciate the reason, but that is what beetachon is, knowing that Hashem has orchestrated, why this has happened.
And only very briefly, what strength and beetachon in Hashem, it must have taken, to be able to live, function and move forward, even after he was visited with polio, during the polio epidemic in 1937. And all when he was but four years old. I do not recall him ever questioning “why me”. What I do recall is, that when I would go to play a game of baseball, he would be sure to be there, cheering me on. And who can forget how he used to play table tennis at the Torah Vi’Avodah.
So then you might ask, did he complain when he was take from us at a youngish age of “68”. I do not believe he complained here either. He fully understood, that when a man’s neshama is placed here in Olam Hazeh, it comes with a certain mission, and when that Mission is completed, so is his stay here in Olam Hazeh. But how do we know, when the mission is completed?
We are taught in Shir Hashirim, that there is a scene of a man, walking through a garden, picking figs. This we are taught, is an allegory to death. What does a fig teach us, as opposed to other fruit? A fig has the charachteristic, that it is very difficult to tell by looking at its outside, when it is ripe. So is it with a neshama, we cannot tell by looking, which neshamot are ripe to go to Gan Aden. Some go at 120, some at 80, and our dear Yitz was ready at the age of sixty eight, when he received the “neshikah” of Hashem, just as Aaharon Hakohen did, when his mission in life was complete
Having said the aforesaid, what can we say was his mission, while he was with us in Olam Hazeh? I do believe it was, to bring light to so many. And how is this done, if not by opening the eyes of so many through chinuch, through education. I daresay of the manifold tasks he accomplished, it was in the field of chinuch, that he stood front and center. And fortunate indeed it was for all, who were the recipients of all his effort, that he knew what his mission was.
And see how this week’s Parsha Vaera, is so perfect for our Yitz. Would you believe the gematria of Vaera is 208, the very same as that of Yitzchak. And did he not display “gevurah” all his life, as did Yitzchak Oveenu? But there is more, to connect him to this Parsha. If you take the rosha tayvot of his name, that is Yitzchak ben Yosef Elkana, you will see it comes to “21”. And how many pesukim are there in this Parsha? There are no less, and are you ready,, there are 121 pesukim. Yes “1” is Hashem, who told Moshe to tell B’Nai Yisrael, that Eheyeh sent him. This was a sign that Hashem would look after His people in Mitzrayim, just as Yitz cared for his folk here in Toronto.
And now I should like to address a few words, to his three children, to Yaakov, Miriam, Yisrael, their spouses, children and grandchildren. For they each have a role to play, with respect to their Father, grandfather and Great Grandfather. Let me explain.
We know why Yom Kippur, is so important to us. For it is on that date, we are judged, as to whether we shall live for another year. And similarly, in Olam Habo, they too have a kind of Yom Kippur, except it is on the Yahrzeit of each person there. On that date, after Hashem visiting the history of the next of kin, over the past year, will Hashem determine, whether the neshama will have an aliyah, and be zoche to move closer to Hashem
And this is where we begin with, my “three” nephews, is how would we say it, but the ball is in your court each year, with the help of others, to make certain, your Abba’s neshama receives an aliyah. And what is your task? Let me begin, by making note of, what a special number “3” is. Just see the following
1) there were three Ovot
2)The Tenach is made up of three books
3) we daven three times a day
4) three malochim came to visit Avraham
5) we repeat many tefillot 3 times, such as Hashem, Hashem, Kayl Rachum vi’chanun……..
6) Torah was given to Moshe, the third child, in the third month
Yes, yes, the three of you can make a name for yourselves too, viz a viz your Abba. And by doing what.
One stands for Hashem
Two stands for two people, who see things differently
Three, you three, and your spouses, stand for mediating differences between people, such that there will be harmony between them, and also between nations, something we need so badly today
Now, where does the number “14” fit in, as this is his fourteenth yahrtzeit. Firstly we know, the 14th beracha in Shemone Esray is Vi’li’rusholayim Eercha. Oh how proud he was, to have made aliyah with his dear wife, to be oh so close to Yerusholayim. I do know he told me, why he chose to live in Petach Tikvah. The name means, the opening for hope, the hope that he had, of running for public office, such that he could be a light for the medinah. But unfortunately it was not to be. He had completed his mission.
And when one thinks of it, so many of the students who benefitted from his love, of giving over education, have matured into adults. And we are taught, he who teaches another Torah or supports same, then those students, are considered to be as his children. Oh B”H, how many other children does he therefore have.
So Yaakov, Miriam, and Yisrael, I know you three are up to the task, and because of the way you act, together with your spouses, your children and grandchildren, and all his children who he fathered, by providing them with education, then surely his neshama will receive an aliyah, such by this time for sure, he now sits close to the Kisay Hakavod of Hashem, and can thus be a maylitz Yosher, for his mishpacha, klall Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael. And may it be so! Amen!!