by Rabbi Sholom Avtzon
In the weeks after Simchas Torah, we announce V’Yaakov Hulach L’darkoi – And Yaakov went onto his journey [into the world]. The purpose is, as the Rebbe often explained, that the month of Tishrei is to infuse and invigorate us, that we can take that inspiration and unpack it throughout the year, to use it when necessary. So I thought to share with our readers the following vignette that I heard during one of the nights of Simchas Beis Hashoeiva, in the name of the mashpia, Reb Shlomo Chaim Kesselman.
It used to be that every person had at least one cow, either for its milk, or that the farmer can plow his field with it, or for both reasons. But from time to time, the cow became weak or even sick and the owner would then send it into the forest to eat the wild grass.
The question is, why wild grass in the woods, and not the manicured grass or hay in his own fields that he gave the cow until then?
The answer is, his grass and hay is indeed appropriate food for the cow under normal situations. However, when the cow takes a downward turn, he needs something more than that. So the owner sends him to the wild, hoping that among the grass the cow eats, there will be some additional vegetation that has some herbal potency and that will give the cow the necessary boost it needs.
So too is the purpose of a farbrengen; it may be that almost everything discussed and mentioned is known to you and therefore not inspirational. But amongst everything said, there is that one point, that might touch and inspire you, giving you serious food for thought, and that is just one of the reasons why we participate in a farbrengen.
Rabbi Avtzon is a veteran mechanech and author of numerous books. He is available to farbreng in your community and can be contacted at avtzonbooks.com.