Friday, September 28, 2012

A Viral Kiddush Hashem

Do 1250 comments and 12,200 "likes" on the Huffington Post article mean Seth's story has gone viral?  How about this morning's front page article in the Commercial Appeal?  What about the fact that we got a call this morning from someone who wants to donate $1000 to the school in honor of Seth?

Of all the responses - and, as this morning's paper reported, there have been many - this is my favorite.  It is a Facebook comment by Rabbi Dov Karoll, executive assistant to Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Israel:

'Like' is an inadequate response for this. I thinks the baraita probably says it best:

כדתניא, (דברים ו) ואהבת את ה' אלהיך - שיהא שם שמים מתאהב על ידך... ויהא משאו ומתנו בנחת עם הבריות, מה הבריות אומרות עליו - אשרי אביו שלמדו תורה, אשרי רבו שלמדו תורה. אוי להם לבריות שלא למדו תורה, פלוני שלמדו תורה - ראו כמה נאים דרכיו, כמה מתוקנים מעשיו, עליו הכתוב  אומר (ישעיהו מט) ויאמר לי עבדי אתה ישראל אשר בך אתפאר

The quote is from the Talmud (Yoma 86a).  Here is what it means:

As it was taught (Deuteronomy 6): "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God," i.e., that the Name of Heaven be beloved because of you.  If someone studies Scripture and Mishnah, and attends on the disciples of the wise, is honest in business, and deals with people pleasantly, what do people then say concerning him? ‘Happy the father who taught him Torah, happy the teacher who taught him Torah; woe unto people who have not studied the Torah; for this man has studied the Torah look how fine his ways are, how righteous his deeds! Of him does Scripture say: And He said unto me (Isaiah 49): You are my servant, Israel, in, whom I will be glorified."

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