Truth Detector

Friday, 12 June, 2015 - 11:04 am

There is a custom that one recites a chapter of Psalms each day corresponding to one’s age. At birth it is chapter one, after the first birthday it is chapter two and so on. So the chapter number is always one ahead of the most recent birthday.

I recently marked my 42nd birthday and started reciting Psalm 43. On my birthday my father told me that when he turned 42 his father-in-law, my grandfather, Rabbi Sholom Gordon OBM, remarked that there is a special passage in that chapter. Verse 3 states: “Send Your light and Your truth, they will guide me; they will bring me to Your holy mountain and to Your sanctuaries.” He then related the following story.

“When I was a boy in Russia, our melamed (school teacher) taught us a passage from the Talmud, tractate Bava Metzia, “If two persons have deposited (funds with one person) one person deposited one hundred zuz and the other two hundred, and each of them claims that the two hundred are his, the depository must pay to each of them one hundred, and the remaining hundred should be deposited until Elijah will come.” Simply put, when Moshiach comes, Eliyahu Hanavi will resolve the doubt by telling us to whom the money belongs.

I asked the melamed, “How could we rely on Eliyahu’s testimony to determine for us who is telling the truth? Doesn’t the Torah require two witnesses to establish fact? The melamed smiled and replied, “Yingele (my boy), do you think Eliyahu Hanavi will give testimony in a legal sense? Psalms 43:3 teaches, “Send Your light and Your truth.” Your light refers to Moshiach and Your truth refers to Eliyahu Hanavi. When Moshiach comes and Eliyahu Hanavi is with him, the truth of Hashem will be revealed in the world. When that happens the liar himself will come forward to admit that he was lying and the money will be restored to the true owner.”

“So,” my grandfather concluded, “This is the special passage in Psalm 43. We ask Hashem to send Moshiach along with Elijah the prophet and they will bring Hashem’s truth and light to world.”

May it happen speedily!

Mazel Tov to Adam and Michele Stross for the upshernish of their son Shaya.

Mazel Tov to Hal and Lauren Ungar upon the birth of their daughter Miriam. Mazel Tov the grandparents, Stanley and Roselle Ungar.

Mazel Tov to Ron and Noa Deri upon the birth of their daughter.

Mazel Tov to Hila and Daniel Savoie upon the birth of their daughter.

Mazel Tov to the Kehaty family upon the marriage of Mendel and Freida. It was wonderful to be part of a well-apportioned delegation of current and former “Whodats” at the wedding. We look forward to continuing the celebration this Shabbat in NOLA.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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