Rav Brazil On Shavuos: Missed and Gained Opportunities

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rav-shmuel-brazil-1 By Rav Shmuel Brazil

One of the charachters of Megillas Rus is Peloni Almoni, the relative who was also called the goail and was supposed to fulfill the mitzvah of yibum on Rus. Why didn’t the novi reveal his real name?

The answer given is that people sometimes miss great once in a lifetime opportunities. When this happens, this particular mission of theirs has vanished and the course of history is changed. Had this goail fulfilled his mitzvah with Rus the carrier of Dovid Hamelech, who knows what could have happened through him. Now he became just a peloni, someone whose name does not really matter. What then is the interpretation of his second name almoni? We can suggest that it is from the root word elaim which means mute. His mission was to declare yes I will be meyabaim Rus. By omitting these words, it was deemed as if he was a mute, for these words were essential for his being and would have shaped Jewish destiny. A lost opportunity.

Rav Shwab ztl recounts the shabbos that he spent with the Chofetz Chaim ztl in Radin. In the middle of the seudah the Chofetz Chaim turned to him and asked why is he a cohen and Rav Shwab is not? The Chofetz Chaim answered his own question. Because when Moshe came down from Sinai and saw the eigel hazahav and asked mee lehashem ailiey, It was only shevet Levi which answered anu lehashem – we are to Hashem. Another lost opportunity.- the omission of words that would have shaped generations to the end of time.

Sometimes one can lose a life long opportunity in one second. The Torah tells us that the moment yaakov left the room where he received the berachos from Yitzchok, Esav entered. According to the Medrash Yaakov stood behind the door as Aisav entered and only then did he leave the room. The Rashbam comments this is to teach the miracles that happened to Yaakov because in another moment he could have lost them. I think we could add that the Torah wants to relate to us that in one second one can lose a life long opportunity. Yes beracha of veyitain or no.

The sefarim write that just like each Yid has a letter in the Torah and if he sees that letter during hagbahas Hatorah or doing his aliya, he becomes incredibly energized spiritually. So too they write that each Yid has a particular shabbos during his lifetime that belongs to his neshama in an incredible way and can bring it to lofty heights easily that would take him years to attain. The only catch is that when that shabbos comes he must take full advantage of it by making sure he is not mechalail shabbos even accidentally and try to be very spiritual on that day. One may ask how does he know when that shabbos arrives? The answer is he doesn’t. One must keep in mind therefore that every shabbos just might be that one and thus making sure he does not miss an opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime that can change his life to incredible levels in a 24 hour period.

The passuk says about Rus that Hashem should pay her full reward in that she came to be megayir. Why should she get full reward for that? Some learn that this is based on the gemarah Yevamos 48 that asks why to geyrim suffer so much? The answer given is because they tarried too much in making the decision to enter Judaism. This means to say that once the decision was made then there should be no procrastination. The emes is in front of your eyes and you delay? You want to get your last licks? Rus however, the moment she decided that it was for her, she did not tarry at all and this is what is meant that she should get full reward because she was megayir immediately.

When Rus returned in the morning from the silo in which she spent the night with the gadol hador Boaz, as she returns to her mother in law, she asks who are you my daughter? The question is why did Naomi ask who are you? Could it be that she did not recognize her daughter in law? Rather, through the incredible challenges that Rus took upon herself by listening to Naomi, her spiritual form and dimensions completely changed and her panim which reflected her penim was altered radically to the point where Naomi did not even recognize her. It was a most difficult ordeal to go in the middle of the night to the gadol hador and stay by his feet with the possibility of him cursing her forever for acting in such an immodest fashion. As it was she was already stigmatized for being a geyores, a Moavite, questionable if her geirus is accepted and now she has to add on the curse of the gadol hador as well. But because she made that choice she instantly changed so much that with that ascent she also changed the destiny of Klall Yisrael and the became instrumental in the birth of Moshiach. A gained opportunity.

The nazir in this parsha is also a gained opportunity that in just one dibbur of harainee nazir he wears the crown of Hashem. He is a peleh a wonder. By accepting this challenge of nezirus not to conform to the crowds who drink wine he became the true king who controls his desires. It happens in a second but the impression of his few words last even after his nezirus ends as the passuk says that after he finishes completing his vows the nazir is permitted to drink wine. When one seizes the moment he seizes eternity for himself and for his generations.

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