HaBucher HaChushev Ploni ben Nistar here for shtick, news and fun. You know, a Chassidic life isn't as boring and heavy as most people might think! ;-)
מצוה גדולה להיות בשמחה תמיד
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DISCLAIMER: Questions on Jewish Law (Halacha), I will try to answer to the best of my ability. Note that my understanding may not be accurate nor be the final word on asked topic. One should consult an Orthodox Rabbi before drawing any conclusions.
The following is a short vort I said today. [This post is written and posted on Motzei Shabbos]
אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה בְּדֹרֹתָיו אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים הִתְהַלֶּךְ נֹחַ
These are the generations of Noach, Noach, a man, was a perfect tzadik in his generations; Noach walked with G-d.
In describing Noach the posuk says “Noach ish tzadik tomim b’dorosav”. The Torah places the word ‘ish’ before ‘tzadik’. Showing us that before we want to be(come) a tzadik in our generation, we first have to be a mentsh (ish). Only by being that, can we actually grow to become the tzadikim of our generation and walk with G-d.
This we can also see in the behavior of the Gedolei Yisroel.
Once, when the Chasam Sofer was giving a shiur to a group of learned buchrim (yeshive students), a bucher asked him a seemingly simple question. The Chasam Sofer then answered him “How can you not understand? That’s not even a question.” Later that night when the Chasam Sofer came home, he thought back of the question and suddenly realized it wasn’t such an easy question at all. In fact, it was an amazing question (a moiredike kashe)! He was wrong and at the same time he had embarrassed a fine bucher! He immediately told his gabbe (attendant) to gather all buchrim who attended the shiur and bring them to the beis medrash.
There, in front of everyone, the Chasam Sofer admitted his mistake and begged this certain bucher for forgiveness.
This is the way of a true mentsh. One can be a Talmid Chochom (Torah scholar), a Godol Yisroel, or even a Rebbe. But if one isn’t a mentsh himself; it all means nothing.
Now, the meforshim also ask why this parsha opens with the words “Eileh toldos Noach” (this is the offspring of Noach) and then continues with Noach being an ish (mentsh). Answer the meforshim: A man’s literal offspring, his children, are not only the product of himself. They are of both him and his wife. But a man’s middos (character traits) are. Those toldos (offspring) are from him alone. By being a mentsh (having good middos), we create our own toldos in Shomayim.