Toras Avigdor Junior
Parshas Ki Savo
40 Days and 40 Years
Beis Yaakov Bnos Rochel
“Bassy!” said Shevi, as she greeted her friend. “How was your trip to Eretz Yisroel?”
“Oh it was so incredible,” gushed Bassy. “I only have three words to describe it: Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh!”
“Oh, it sounds amazing!” Shevi said, as other girls started to gather to hear about Bassy’s trip. “Tell us all about it!”
“Well,” began Bassy. “First we went to the Kosel and I davened for my sister Tziry to become a Kallah.”
“Wait,” said Raizy. “You only went once? You know that doesn’t work, right?”
Everyone looked at Raizy. “What do you mean?” asked Bassy.
“Well you have to daven for 40 days for Hashem to answer you,” Raizy said.
“No you don’t!” said Esty. “Where did you get that idea?”
Raizy quickly pulled out an issue of Toras Avigdor Junior from her bag. “Look it says right here in the story of Tzadok ‘Hatzadik’! The Rav of the jail is saying how Moshe Rabbeinu davened for 40 days before Hashem answered him.”
“Okay,” countered Bassy as other girls pulled out their own copies of the Junior and looked inside. “But just because Moshe Rabbeinu did that one time, it doesn’t mean that’s how it always is.”
Things began to get heated as the girls argued back and forth. Raizy reached into her bag and started pulling out all sorts of other booklets and seforim to prove her point.
“Look!” she said holding a flyer from the Kupat Harabbanim. “It says that if you donate, a group of talmidei chachomim will daven for 40 days on your behalf! And when my brother was chazering Mesechta Taanis, I heard him say that if it doesn’t rain for 40 days we start saying special tefilos for rain, so it’s clear that 40 days has meaning when it comes to davening.”
Just then the girls’ teacher walked into the room.
“Good morning girls,” said Morah Leah warmly. “Is everything okay?”
The girls told their teacher about their argument and Morah Leah calmly asked them to take their seats.
“Girls,” Morah Leah began, “I want to start by clearing up a couple of things. First of all, tefillos always have an effect. Just because you don’t daven for 40 days for something doesn’t mean that Hashem won’t listen to your tefillos.”
Raizy’s hand shot up so fast that she almost dislocated her shoulder. “Yes, Raizy?” Morah Leah said.
“But the Toras Avigdor Junior paskens that you need 40 days.” she said. “And what about the Kupat Harabbanim flyer and the mishnah in Taanis?”
“Well, first of all, the Junior doesn’t pasken halachos,” Morah Leah answered. It’s a publication of stories for children to teach some of the lessons from Rav Avigdor Miller, but it definitely is not intended for you to try to learn out new halachos from between the lines of the stories.
“And even so, we must be careful before assuming things based on anything we learn. This lesson is actually found in this week’s Parsha. The Torah says “וְלֹא נָתַן ה’ לָכֶם לֵב לָדַעַת וְעֵינַיִם לִרְאוֹת וְאָזְנַיִם לִשְׁמֹעַ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה”, which means it took the Am Yisroel until the end of 40 years to understand Matan Torah. Why does the Torah tell us this?
“So the Gemara says that the Torah is coming to teach us that just because we read a sefer once or twice, that’s not enough to really know and understand it. Even finishing the whole Shas doesn’t automatically make someone a Talmid Chochom. Truly understanding Torah means at least 40 years of learning with a Rebbe before one can even truly know something.”
Raizy raised her hand again. “I need to read Toras Avigdor Junior for 40 years? But it’s for kids and I won’t be a kid anymore in 40 years.”
“No, no,” Morah Leah said with a smile. “You don’t have to read Toras Avigdor Junior for 40 years. And there are definitely lessons you can learn from many seforim even when you read them for the first time. But in order to truly know and fully understand the Torah, one must be constantly studying and chazering over and over with the help of rebbeim, rabbonim, and Gedolei Torah. It never ends! We need to be constantly learning over and over our entire lives, because that is the only way to fully understand Hashem and serve him properly.”
After class, Raizy went over to Bassy. “I’m sorry I said that your tefillos at the Kosel didn’t work,” she said. “Hashem should help your sister find her chosson right away.”
“Amein!” said Bassy, grinning. “But you know what’s interesting? Remember last week when we finally finished hilchos Shabbos in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and we said how happy we were to have completed it? Well we didn’t really complete it, did we? We need to keep learning it over and over again for the next 40 years. That’s a lot longer than 40 days!”
Have A Wonderful Shabbos!