Stein Yeshiva recently had a very special visitor, Rabbi Shimon Green. Rabbi Green founded Yeshiva Birchas HaTorah in the Old City and was its Rosh Yeshiva for 25 years. He is currently the Mora D’Asra of Kehillas Shomrei Emunim in Phoenix, Arizona, and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas HaTurim.
Rabbi Green gave a very thought provoking address to students, parents and faculty. He explored the question of “What is life and how do we succeed?” Rabbi Green explained that what one knows is fluid and changing constantly based upon what is experienced from moment to moment. In order for days to be meaningful, people need an anchor, a blueprint for a frame of reference to interpret those experiences, and that is the Torah.
The world changes every second, but the key to living a life close to Hashem is the study and knowledge of Torah, and to implement what is learned in one’s everyday living. Every part of life has to be informed by Torah values.
When it comes to Hashem, effort is important. Every second or every day everyone must choose to do right, even if in the past the wrong choices have been made. It is never too late to turn things around. Each person has been given skills and attributes and Hashem only holds one responsible for putting in the effort to use the skills we have.
In that journey, look for a role model to help become the best a person can be. Rabbi Green told a moving story of a video he saw that was made by a yeshiva bochur. It flipped back and forth between life in the secular world and life in the yeshiva. In the end, he asked the question, “Who is your hero?” The secular teenager said LeBron James, but the yeshiva bochur said Rav Moshe. Why Rav Moshe? Because, the teenager said, he was good and kind and cared about everyone. Rabbi Green explained that this is the difference when people make the right choices. Heroes are people who live a life dedicated to Hashem and their goodness is evident.
Thank you Rabbi Green for such an inspiring drasha and may all Jews be zoche to emulate that giant in Torah, Harav Moshe Feinstein.