Toras Avigdor Junior
Careful – You Can’t Fix That!
Pinny ran into the house full of excitement. He was huffing and puffing and covered in sweat – he must have ran the whole way home from school!
“Mommy! Guess what?” he said, breathlessly.
“Hi Pinny,” said Mommy with a warm smile. “What are you so excited about?”
Pinny smiled from ear to ear. “We finished Meseches Shabbos today!” he exclaimed. “The whole thing! All 24 perakim of Mishnayos!”
“Wow, mazel tov!” said Mommy. “That IS exciting! I think I had better bake your favorite chocolate cake so we can have a siyum after dinner!”
As Mommy hurried into the kitchen to start baking, Moishy came into the living room. “Did I hear you get a mazel tov, Pinny?” Moishy asked his younger brother.
“Yes, we finished Meseches Shabbos – and Mommy’s baking a double-fudge, icing-coated, chocolate-supreme cake to celebrate the siyum!”
“That’s incredible!” said Moishy. “But it’s not enough!”
“It’s not?” asked Pinny, confused.
“No, it’s not!” Moishy insisted. “This is a celebration of Torah learning! Do you remember the siyum hashas last year? They had a whole orchestra playing music to celebrate! Everyone heard about it! That’s how we’re supposed to celebrate Torah!”
“So what should we do?” asked Pinny. “I don’t think we can rent out MetLife Stadium on such short notice.”
“No, we can’t – and it’s a shame,” said Moishy. “But we’ll do the next-best thing. We’ll have a marching band! Follow me.”
Quickly, the two boys ran around the house and got Malky and little Gitty to join them. Moishy strapped a big bass drum from his drum set to his chest, Malky grabbed two cymbals, and Pinny took his tuba out of the case. Little Gitty found an old tambourine, and the four of them marched towards the front door, banging, crashing, tooting, and jingling.
“Um, what are you kinderlach doing?” Mommy asked as the four children began to leave the house.
“We’re a marching band!” said Moishy with a huge smile. “We’re going out into the street to celebrate Pinny’s siyum! The whole world needs to know and share in the simcha!”
Mommy smiled. “My dear kinderlach,” she said. “You are right. Pinny’s siyum is a tremendous reason to celebrate. But don’t you think you’re forgetting something?”
The children looked at each other, confused. They had thought they had a really nice marching band. What were they missing?
“Oh my!” said Moishy. “We don’t have a singer! Pinny, do we still have that megaphone? We should wait until Totty comes home and then he can sing with us as we march down the street!”
“Wait -” said Mommy as Pinny turned to run and get the megaphone. “That’s not what I meant. Look outside – don’t you see it’s already starting to get dark? That means that some of our neighbors are putting their babies to sleep now. Can you imagine if you make that ruckus outside? You might keep them from sleeping, and I know you wouldn’t want to do that.”
The children thought about this. “I didn’t think about that,” Moishy said quietly. “And if we wake up someone’s baby I’m sure the mother wouldn’t be happy. So we wouldn’t exactly be giving her simcha…”
“Yes,” said Mommy. “And more than that. You know, in this week’s Parsha we talk about Korbanos and how they give us a kaporah for aveiros. But sometimes, someone might chas v’shalom do an aveirah like stealing. And in that case, a korbon can’t help them unless they also pay back the money.
“But did you know that there are some types of stealing that we can’t pay back with money? Like gezel shaina, which means “stealing” someone’s sleep. If you make someone lose sleep, you can’t just pay that back with money! So imagine if you are out in the street making a racket – you wouldn’t even know whom you stole sleep from – then how could you even ask mechilah?
“That’s why Rav Avigdor Miller says it’s so important to learn these Parshiyos of korbanos closely, which teach us how to fix our aveiros. And to think about the danger of terrible aveiros that we can’t fix.
“So, maybe you kinderlach would like to celebrate in the house – and somewhat quietly, since I’m about to put little Shmuli to sleep.” Mommy concluded with a smile.
“Oh wow, Mommy,” said Moishy. “We almost did something horrible, when we thought we were doing a Mitzvah! Thank you so much for pointing this out to us!”
Turning to his siblings, Moishy said, “let’s put away these instruments. Instead we can sing and dance in the living room until dinner is ready. We anyway need to work up an appetite for Pinny’s chocolate cake!”