tov Hashem

“Tov Hashem Lakol Hashem is good to all” Tehillim/Psalm 145

Dedicated in Honor of Kalman Holczler

“It’s so easy to see the way out of someone else’s problem. But before you offer your advice, try to put your self in his shoes and make his problem your own. Will you be so quick to judge the situation when it is in your own back yard?”

This is what was going through my mind as I was walking away from a Chaim Dovid Concert right after Simchas Torah this past year. And that is where I met Kalman.

I’m always asking others to let go of past hurts and focus on the bigger picture. In my mind it seems so easy. Yet when I had a dream about my elementary school principal, I lost touch with this. Suddenly, I fell into the same depth of pain that I hear from my clients every day. The hurt was so deep and so raw! It took an outsider, a new friend, a new talmid (student), to teach me a lesson I had assumed I had already mastered.

I recited my dream with much drama, sure that my memories would demonize my old principal and earn me applause for my suffering. But Kalman uttered the words I say to others every single day. ‘Tov Hashem Lakol, Hashem is good to all” {Hashem does good with everything, with everyone}, just let it go. You wouldn’t be who you are today if not for that pain.”

I stood there dumbfounded by the truth that I should have spoken. It came from Kalman, whom I had just met. I was so ashamed. However, as we all know, when it comes to our pain we cannot hear the voice of truth within. Sometimes we need a Kalman who has been hurt as deeply as we have been to say the same exact words we speak every day. We all need a reminder, sometimes.

As my editor is reading this I imagine her saying, “What was the dream?” Yet, I get to smile and say, “No, my friends. I have made peace with it for now. No use digging up old hurts.”

This lesson is true for us all. We love to tell a good story or two about how we got hurt and who hurt us, but then we must look at ourselves, today, and ask, “Are you willing to give up everything you’ve gained from that experience?” The answer for the most part is no. We are not willing to trade the great strides we have made, even though the path was filled with thorns. In the final analysis, everything is what it was supposed to be. It is our choice to make something good out of it.

Thank you, Kalman, for connecting with my experience, sincerely feeling my pain and giving voice to your own hard-earned wisdom. You granted me a chance to hear a lesson that I teach every day. This lesson now has a name. It will be called: Kalman’s Lesson. And I shall teach it forever. Thank you…

I want to bless you all with happiness and light. May only joy and accomplishment follow you in your path of life. May the journey be adventurous and filled with many ups and downs, as life usually is. Always remember Kalman’s Lesson of Simchas Torah Night. ‘Tov Hashem Lakol, Hashem is good to all”

Reb Chaim of Yerushalayim