On Motzoei Shabbos, at the keynote session of the Sixth Annual Project Inspire Convention, Rav Elya Brudny Shlita, Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshivas Mir, Brooklyn, addressed a packed crowd of over 1200, inspiring them with powerful divrei chizuk.
The Rosh Yeshiva, who, in the words of renowned Project Inspire askan Rabbi Yaakov Salamon, “immediately agreed to attend the keynote session, in order to inspire other Yidden,” electrified the audience by explaining the mitzvah of kiruv according to the Torah viewpoint.
The Rosh Yeshiva’s powerful address revolved around two main points.
Firstly, there is only one way to inspire our brothers to come closer to Hashem. As Chazal teach us, “V’ahavta Es Hashem Elokecha,” you shall love Hashem, your G-d. Our Chachomim explain this with the verse “Shaim Shomayim Mis’ahev Al Yodecha.” Hashem’s name should be beloved through you. This means that we are obligated to act as catalysts so that other Jews, observing our behavior, should be suffused with ahavas Hashem.
How do we accomplish that?
A Yid who learns Torah, who serves Torah scholars, and conducts himself in an exemplary fashion, both in the Bais Medrash and on the street, creates an enduring Kiddush Hashem. Others notice him and say, “Look how beautiful his actions are! Praised be his parents and teachers. As our Chachomim say, “Avdi Atoh, Yisroel asher bechoh esp’aer. You are my servant, Yisroel, says Hashem; My name is glorified through you.”
Every single Yid can be an ambassador for a Torah lifestyle, by helping a neighbor with the groceries, being friendly and taking an interest in someone else’s life. If you wear a yarmulke, you are representing a Torah lifestyle, and others are taking notice of how you act. Be generous. Ensure that Hashem’s name should be beloved through your behavior.
The Rosh Yeshiva then mentioned a second point, depicting the rampant levels of anti-Semitism in the world today, and how it affects Klal Yisroel.
Nowadays, anti-Semitism has peaked across the world. While it hasn’t yet reached the levels of the Holocaust, it has been steadily rising every year. It’s obvious that the nations have no use for Klal Yisroel in their world.
Where does this hatred come from? Why do they despise us so?
Our Chachomim teach us that Har Sinai was named thus, because from Sinai descended a sinah, a hatred of the nations against us. The umas ha’olam didn’t accept the Torah, and we did. It’s that simple.
Over the generations, they watch us, the Chosen Nation, Hashem’s beloved people, and this fills them with hatred. Why do they want us to disapper? Because of who we are, and what we represent.
Yet the average gentile does not understand the concept of a Torah Yid. They identify us with Eretz Yisroel, the Promised Land. If we forget our unique tafkid, our mission on this world, we give them even more reason to hate us. We were given bechirah, a unique ability to use our intellect to control our choices; this gives our lives so much meaning and joy. Conversely, those who don’t have the Torah in their lives, who wander about without an anchor, suffer from a lack of identity and low self-esteem.
Those who are Shomrei Torah u’mitzvos are a mere fraction of a fraction of the Jewish nation. At the same time, we represent what a frum Yid should be. We are the conscience of the rest of the world! By our actions, we can create a tremendous energy and inspiration for others. That is the true meaning of kiruv.