A Harpfull of Hope

A Harpfull of Hope The Zohar Hakodosh writes …Rebbe Shimon asked his Rosh HaYeshiva to which place do women merit to go when they rise to the olom haboh (world to come) in Gan Eden (garden of Eden). His Rosh HaYeshiva was hesitant in his response and did not wish to reveal this secret to Reb Shimon. He then offered a brief explanation saying that there is a place in the highest of heavens in the places of Olom Haboh that is free for all to roam. Then there is a huge curtain where men are not permitted to enter. Behind these curtains are for corridors and there are four of the holiest and greatest women who dwell in that area. Batya the daughter of pharaoh – Serach, the daughter of Usher – Yocheved, the mother of Moshe – Devorah, the prophetess. It is stated in the medrash (pirkei d’r’Elazar) that when the children were preparing to tell Yaakov that Yosef was still alive. They sent Serach bas Usher to play the harp for him as she sang Od Yosef Chai (oh Yosef he is still alive) Vechi hu moshail beretz mitzraim (and he is a ruler in Egypt). Slowly the sadness evaporated and he blessed her for having lifted his spirits. As a result, she was still active many centuries later and eventually entered the gan Eden alive! If you take a moment to think about it, it seems quite strange. Moshe the leader of the entire nation, who guided the bnai yisroel out of Egypt, only lived 120 years. Yet, Serach, the daughter of Usher who played the harp, lived for centuries and entered gan Eden ALIVE?! What great blessing did Yaakov give to his grandchild that merited her such great rewards? What did Serach do that earned her such an awesome blessing? I am reminded once again; and it still brings me to tears when I think about him; of the words that Rebs, Rabbi Lieberman Z’TL once said to me while I was in the midst of my deepest pains and frustrations. When all HOPE was gone and I had no one to turn to, he said, “Chaim, you will one day become whatever you choose to become! There are no mountains high enough, no heaven even higher than the places that you will go and the things you can accomplish!” A little bit of HOPE goes a long way. I heard recently that a prominent Rosh yeshiva wrote a letter to someone who was sick in the hospital. Months later at the funeral of this man, the son stood up and said to the audience gathered. My father’s spirits were full of HOPE each and every day, because he showed everyone the letter, and said, “Look who wrote me!” What was it after all – it was just a letter, a mere expression on words. Later, the Rosh Yeshiva stood sadly pondering that it only took him a few minutes to write such a letter; how powerful is the value of time and words. A little bit of time goes a long way! Oh!!! Serach the daughter of Usher, SERACH BAS USHER!! Play us that tune on your harp so that we too may merit your songs of HOPE! So that we too may bless you! Yaakov was so broken — the wife he loved so much that the torah is witness to their love died on the road while giving birth, Yosef his dear son was gone and he was saddened and broken hearted. Along comes this granddaughter with her harp and she plays for him tunes of HOPE, tunes of awakenings. He blesses her to live a long life in order to raise the consciousness of all the bnai yisroel for centuries, never to give up and always to have HOPE. So many of us while in the trenches of our most difficult pains turn to the jug of HOPE and we pretend that none is there. The illusion is that none exists, but an illusion it is. The sufferings are real; the issues are mostly in our minds. Ourselves cannot fill us with HOPE. What effort in time does it take to give hope to others? A minute? Five? There are children all over the world stuck in hospital beds, people who are home with illness or therapies, and the like… who is pouring loving HOPE into their vessels? What does it take, a visit, a call, a letter, a card, and e-mail? That is what time was created for, to bring a little HOPE into each person’s empty vessels. The group of lost souls, who cannot yet see the gift of life because they have given up HOPE. To all those who cannot yet see the awesome blessings of Hashem. Please, close your eyes and imagine the strings of the harp, the strings of HOPE that flows from Serach the daughter of Usher. Allow the flow of the music, the tunes of HOPE to enter your mind, body and soul. Accept upon yourself the awakening to self, the vision of tomorrow that can only be imagined. Imagine of waking out of an illusion of turmoil into the light of happiness and success in al that you set out to do. The rest of us, take out your harp, your pen, your phone… and may we all merit the blessings of Yaakov – long life to inspire HOPE in all that we meet, and in time to walk into the gan Eden awakened and alive!