2 Sivan 5781 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
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Tazria: An Email to Hashem    

Tazria: An Email to Hashem

David wanted more than his routine life of business, minyan and daf yomi – he dreamed of being a great tzaddik, so he sat down and wrote an email to Hashem…


David was the type of solid, down-to-earth guy that everybody in the community had respect for. He was a yeshiva-graduate with a quick mind. Learning in university half-day while learning in a local kollel the other half of the day, he finished his degree in accounting and his CPA in half the time that's considered normal. Now, one of the best tax-consultants in the city and supporting a wife and six children, he wasn't left with much more than an hour a day to learn the daily Gemara page, the Daf Yomi. David had a handsome income, a fifth of which he gave to charity. In business, he was as straight as can be with a wonderful reputation for integrity. So much so, that the IRS rarely examined anything submitted by David Kleinerman, CPA…


Despite his good name in business and in the community, something was missing in David's life. Not only did he yearn to learn more Torah, he longed to break out of his spiritually-routine cocoon and become a dazzling tzaddik. He daydreamed of dying as a heroic martyr, but it didn't take much second-thought to realize that such an action would be selfish and inconsiderate of his wife and children. Why should he be a big tzaddik at their expense? He dreamed of multi-million dollar philanthropy, but he didn't have that kind of money. Yet, he ached with the desire to be a big tzaddik. What should he do? How can he make a dramatic climb up the spiritual ladder? He decided to write an email to Hashem:


To: The Holy One, bleesed be He

From: David Kleinerman, CPA

Subject: My desire to be a true tzaddik


Holy Father in Heaven, I have no doubt that you'll answer my sincere inquiry. Please tell me how to become a true tzaddik. With everlasting gratitude, David ben Rachel


Less than 12 hours transpired and David received an email from the Hashem@heavenlythrone.com – the email was short and concise:


Beloved son, do teshuva for any one of your loshon hara violations. For help, click on the link below that will access your Heavenly database of unrectified deeds…


In truth, David was rather disappointed. That's all it takes to become a real tzaddik? Rectify one transgression and "boom", you're a tzaddik? Besides, he didn't particularly recall slandering anyone. Boy, was he amazed when he clicked on the link and discovered that he had 22, 630 unrectified violations of loshon hara! At age 44, with 31 years transpiring since his Bar Mitzva, this was an average of two per day! Yet, out of 22,630, all Hashem wanted is that he fix one!


David clicked on one of the more recent violations from a mere five years ago, one that didn't appear to be so severe. He discovered that he listened to a client complaining about one of his colleague's professional incompetence; with no malice intended, when the colleague's name came up in a business discussion, David said, "Yeah, one of my clients used to go to him; he apparently took a beating in income tax where he's sure he could have saved thousands. He moved over to me…"


Clicking on another link, David discovered that the story about his colleague's incompetence had spread to 139 different people up until now. He was now faced with a choice: either he inform his colleague of the damage he did, or he email all of the 139, trying to convince them that the story was not true, and he regrets both listening to it and repeating it. He wrote them a beautiful email, but received harsh responses:


"Get me off your evil email list…"

"Don't try to be a goody-goody – so and so is really a lousy accountant…"

"Hey, why'd you wake up five years too late? So and so's office closed down…"


David was quickly discovering that doing teshuva for one slip of the tongue wasn't as easy as he thought. No wonder Hashem wrote that this would be enough to make him a real tzaddik…


The surgeon walked in David's room just as the anesthesia was wearing off. "I've got good news for you, Mr. Kleinerman – we removed the entire tumor that was growing on your back; it was deep, but it was benign. You'll soon be back on your feet.


Wow, what a dream I had on the operating table, David thought to himself. He remembered what the Torah says in Parshat Tazria, "When a leprous affliction will be on a person..." (Leviticus 13:9). Our sages tell us that even though we don't have leprosy today, skin afflictions are often the result of loshon hara, evil speech. "That's probably why I had that nasty growth on my back. Thank You, Hashem, that it wasn't malignant. Please help me to learn the laws of wholesome speech and to do my utmost to observe them always!"


We too can send emails to Hashem – all we need to do is a daily hour of personal prayer. You'll be amazed at the rapid responses you receive from heavenlythrone.com!


* * *

Adapted with permission from an article entitled "An Email from Hashem" written by Rabbi Yaakov Luban and originally published on the Orthodox Union website www.ou.org.

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