The students in Stein Yeshiva’s middle school are part of the nationwide yeshiva Rosh Chodesh Project. Each month there is a very entertaining video presentation with follow-up activities to encourage young people in their avodat Hashem in a real and practical way. This month’s topic is “Hashem Wants Our Hearts!” The presentation focused on not doing mitzvot by rote, but with all of our hearts.
A play about a billionaire father with world-wide real estate holdings demonstrated this concept. The man wanted to give his property to his two sons; but, how to distribute it? The man was advised to ask his sons to prepare a meal for him when he returned to Eretz Yisrael and to assess their efforts. One of the boys spent a lot of time planning, shopping and cooking whereas the other simply ordered in sushi. “You fool,” the father said, “don’t you know that I own all of the sushi stores in town. You could have had it for free!” And so it is with Hashem. He owns everything, the entire world. What He wants is our enthusiasm in doing mitzvot.
In a true story, the students heard about the avodot Hashem of the previous Skulener Rebbe, Rabbi Eliezer Zusha of Portugal. On one occasion a close chosid visiting the rebbe in the hospital was met by nurses and doctors frantic over the behavior of the rebbe’s heart monitor. When asked what was going on, the rebbe said he was davening and if he couldn’t say shema with all of his heart, what was the point in having a heart!
Rabbi Cherns and the Stein Yeshiva students invite the entire community to join them in increasing our avodat Hashem by focusing of doing mitzvot with all of our hearts.