Parashat VaYak’hel-Pikudei- A Few Words Can Mean the World
Please learn the following Devar Torah and accomplish what you learn for the iluy Neshama of my special and beloved grandfather Ata ben Elazar, today is his yahrzeit. May his Neshama continue to be elevated in the highest realms of Gan Eden and may his memory be a blessing to all!
43. Moshe saw the entire work, and lo! they had done it--as HaShem had commanded, so had they done. So Moshe blessed them.
מג. וַיַּרְא מֹשֶׁה אֶת כָּל הַמְּלָאכָה וְהִנֵּה עָשׂוּ אֹתָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְ־הֹוָ־ה כֵּן עָשׂוּ וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם מֹשֶׁה:
On his first El Al flight to Israel, the security, to ensure he isn’t a terrorist, asks Rabbi Yosef Tropper why he sings Eshet Hayil on Erev Shabbat. Um, okay? ‘I sing it for my mother!’ he responded so he can finally get to his gate. Congratulations Mr. Tropper, we now know you won’t bomb the place because you sing sweet symphonies to your mother on Friday nights, you may now proceed to your gate….
In all seriousness though, why do we sing Eshet Hayil on Erev Shabbat?
Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian zt”l describes a great mystery which he set out to solve. When he first came to learn under the Alter of Kelm, Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv Broida zt”l he was in awe of the Alter’s wife. Rebbetzin Chaya Leah appeared to be some sort of a superwoman! She has all the cooking done, the house neat and tidy, raised children giving them proper hinukh, and on top of all that was dedicated to every need of the Yeshiva, she raised them as well!…AND she was able to do it all with utmost grace and poise. How did she do so much and still maintain her enthusiasm and vigor?! From where does a person draw such strength??
This mystery was solved the first time that Rav Lopian was invited for a Shabbat meal. When they entered the house after Shul on Erev, the Alter gave his wife a magnificently warm greeting and enumerated to her all of the appreciation he had for her hard work to organize, cook and care for the family’s needs. She was beaming. After making Kiddush and HaMossi, the Alter smiled at the Rebbetzin and told her that her Hallah was the sweetest and most delicious that he had ever tasted. The pride and joy found on the Rebbetzin’s face explained everything to Rabbi Lopian. When someone feels truly appreciated, recognized and validated, they experience a magical surge of energy that inspires them to continue their great accomplishments. That joy and fulfillment is truly powerful.
….and all it takes is a few words from us, nothing more.
Shelomo HaMelekh relates to us in Sefer Mishlei, (perek 18, pasuk 21) ‘Death and Life are in the hand of the tongue.’ With our words we can infuse such life into others. Look what power HaKadosh Barukh Hu is giving us, the power to sustain life! Not with health and medicine, money or riches but with words!
If we have such power in our hands (well, mouths) why don’t we use it? WHY DON’T WE USE IT??? There is no excuse for us not to, it doesn’t take much from us!
Think about a time when your hard work was recognized, when your efforts were appreciated. How good did that feel? Why not give that to someone else? Remember a time when you needed that little boost, and a nearby stranger offered you the warmest smile that just melted your heart. Aren’t we all capable of giving that simple smile?
When you see somebody putting in effort, go up to them and tell them they are doing a wonderful job and that they should keep it up. It’s really all a person needs to keep going….When somebody does even something small for us, let’s actually look at them and thank them genuinely with a smile. How hard is that to do?? Say thank you to everybody, not just our Rebbeim and Rebbetsins; how about the secretary, the waitress, do we thank the cashier and wish them a good day? Even if we remember to say thank you, we murmur it and dash off to our next destination. Say it and say it right! It seriously makes all the difference!
When encourage someone, we give them so much more confidence, we make them feel that they have support, that someone believes in them, that their efforts are worth it and that they should keep continuing, it brings them higher, it gives them a push to strive for more. Do you honestly feel right withholding that from someone? Go ahead and encourage those around you, look what you can do for a person! Aren’t you changing their lives like this? ALL BECAUSE OF A FEW SIMPLE WORDS!
When reading the Parasha, I was so inspired that after Benei Yisrael follow HaShem’s every commandment and instruction how to build the Mishkan, Moshe Rabbenu takes the initiative to bless Benei Yisrael from himself and encourage them for a job well done. Of course Benei Yisrael would do an amazing job, they’re building a home for HaShem! But even so, Moshe Rabbenu recognizes the importance of praising another for their work and giving proper encouragement….EVEN if it’s for something that had to be done right anyways.
Be’Ezrat HaShem, may we all develop the sensitivity to recognize the accomplishments of our fellows and to commend them for it. May we encourage those around us to continue to do more and more missvot so that we may once again have the zekhut of building the Beit HaMikdash and to be praised once more for a beautiful job well done!!!!
Wishing each special Neshama a Shabbat Shalom uMevorakh!!!!
Here are a few tips for offering encouragement to others:
1. Offer praise for ordinary accomplishments. Look for the little things that most people take for granted. Make it personal. Look the other person in the eye and share your words with real meaning.
2. Show appreciation. Watch for the slightest improvement in someone. Be specific. Avoid clichés like, “You’re doing a great job.” Instead tell the person exactly what it is that you appreciate about him or her. Is it their timeliness, work ethic, the way they treat customers or the way they ran the meeting? Perhaps it’s someone’s weight loss, efficiency, or tidiness.
3. Let someone know you are praying for them. This makes someone feel like they are your priority, that you are often thinking about them.
4. Offer words of cheer for someone depressed, discouraged, or overwhelmed. A timely encouraging word can give a person the energy to keep going.
5. Honor the person who has reached a milestone. Don’t hide it. This will give them the support and confidence to reach even more accoplishments.
6. Compliment someone when they aren’t expecting it. Look for something that other people may have overlooked. Tell them what it is and why you think it was worthy of notice.
7. Always say please and thank you. Always means every time, even if it’s their normal responsibility, such as cooking a meal, typing your report, or cutting the lawn
Make it a habit to hold the door for someone and exchange a smile. their smile will carry over to the cashier who will in turn share it with the next customer, who will pass it on to her best friend, who will pass it on to her daughter, who will pass it on to her Morah the next day in school, who will pass it on to her students, who will share it with their families and we can see where it can go! JUST ONE SMILE!Kol Tuv!