Toras Avigdor Junior
Parshas Ki Sisa
The Greatest Glory
Tuesday afternoon in the Goldbaum house
Shmuli was so excited. Tonight was the chanukas habayis of the new Horki Beis Midrash and none other than Chaim K – the famous young singer – was going to be performing! Chaim K was only one year older than Shmuli and he had the most amazing and beautiful voice in the world. People were already saying that he was going to be ‘the next Jewish music superstar’ to take over the Jewish music world!
“Oh how I wish that I could be Chaim K,” thought Shmuli as he stared at the boy singer’s picture on the cover of his latest album, ‘Panim el Panim’. “Then everyone would be saying these things about me!”
As Shmuli stared at the album cover, he imagined it was his face on the cover and he was the one belting out songs like ‘Lo Yirani Ha’adam’ and ‘B’nikras Hatzur’. He imagined throngs of people shouting his name and cheering as he took a bow on the stage.
“Shmuli, how’s your homework going?” came Totty’s voice from the door.
Shmuli jumped. He was so lost imagining that he was Chaim K that he forgot he was supposed to be finishing his Navi homework.
“I’m uh it’s going well!” Shmuli stammered.
“Okay!” said Totty with a smile. “I just wanted to make sure you would be done in time so you could come with me to the chanukas habayis!”
Shmuli hurriedly put down the CD cover and went back to his homework. “I bet Chaim K doesn’t have to do his homework every night,” he thought. “Oh how I wish I was him.”
At the Chanukas Habayis
Shmuli and his friend Yossel bounced up and down with excitement as the last speaker finished thanking every single member of the Horki board by name. “This is it!” squealed Shmuli. How would Chaim K come out? Would he just walk? Run? Would he come out dancing?
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!” called the announcer, “The ONE, the ONLY, Chaim K!!!”
The music started playing as Shmuli and Yossel stood on their tiptoes to get their first glimpse of the singer. But Chaim K didn’t dance, run, or even walk. In fact he couldn’t stand at all. A man – maybe his father – was pushing him out on a wheelchair!
“He’s in a wheelchair???” Shmuli wondered out loud.
“Yes, of course,” whispered Totty over the blasting music. “Didn’t you know? He has been in a wheelchair his whole life. He can’t even move his hands – his mother has to feed him. Boruch Hashem we have working hands and feet that allow us to walk, run, dance, and take care of ourselves!”
Everyone enjoyed the concert and afterwards, Shmuli walked home with Totty, carrying the bag with a book and a new music CD that had been given to each boy.
“Shmuli,” said Totty. “Is everything okay? You seem quiet. Did you enjoy the concert? Did he play the songs you like?”
“Oh yes, Totty,” said Shmuli. “The concert was wonderful. He even sang my favorite song, ‘Chag LaHashem Machar’. But I’m all confused. Until tonight I wanted nothing more than to be Chaim K. It was all I could think of. I imagined being on the CD covers and on stage singing for everyone with a beautiful voice.
“But then I saw that he’s in a wheelchair and can’t even use his hands and feet! That made me rethink things. I thought it would be worth anything in the world to have people saying that I would be the next Jewish music superstar, but I don’t think it would be worth anything. I’d much rather be Shmuli Goldbaum the nobody with working hands and feet!”
“Shmuli!” exclaimed Totty. “That reminds me of what Rav Avigdor Miller says in this week’s parsha!”
“What?” asked Shmuli. “He says not to be a singer?”
“No, no,” answered Totty. “But in this week’s Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu says וְעַתָּה אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ – And now, if I have found favor in your eyes. Rav Miller says that it is perfectly normal for a person to want kovod. Everybody wants to be famous and well liked and respected like the big name singers out there. But actually, the only true kovod that we really want is for Hashem to be proud of us! No other kovod from people shouting your name or talking about you would make you truly happy. Only the kovod that comes from Hashem being proud of you will give you joy forever.
“So you’re not ‘Shmuli Goldbaum the nobody’! You do plenty of mitzvos and learn well in Yeshiva. That means you are ‘Shmuli Goldbaum the somebody’! And it doesn’t matter if nobody knows that. Hashem knows it and that is all that it takes to make the Neshama happy in this world and the next!
Have A Wonderful Shabbos!