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In exchange for what would Rav Shach have given all of his life achievements for?

“And all of these curses will come upon you…because you did not serve Hashem your G-d with with joy and goodness of the heart” (28:45-47)
 Such is the great blessing and importance of serving Hashem with great joy, especially in difficult circumstances that Rav Shach wrote that he would have given all of his life’s achievements in exchange of having the precious moments of richness and pleasure of those who stood outside a gas chamber waiting to be killed when they suddenly remembered that the day was Simchas Torah.  “We don’t have a Sefer Torah” they said “But we do have the Creator of the World with us, and with Him we will dance!” And that is what they did moments before they were killed, they danced with joy at the precious gift of Torah that Hashem had given them.
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The following is another example of how great Jews in our history served Hashem with joy.

Under one of the cruel regimes that imprisoned Jews for practising their religion, two prominent Rebbes were taken from their Beis Hamedrash and thrown into a prison cell.  They shared the small, dark room with only each other and a bucket of waste where the previous ‘tenants’ had gone to the bathroom.  At the sight of his prison cell, one of the Rebbes began to cry, “I’m not crying because of my predicament, I know that it is only Hashem’s will that I am here and everything that He does is for the best, but I have not yet davened Mincha, and now that there is a smelly bucket of waste in the cell, I am forbidden to daven, how can I serve Hashem if I can’t even daven?”  The other Rebbe smiled and warmly explained “just as you serve Hashem by doing His will and davening Mincha everyday, now you are doing His will by not davening Mincha…but you are serving Hashem in just the same way!”  After hearing this, the Rebbe who had not yet davened rose with tears of joy in his eyes.  He picked up his friend and together they sang and danced around the bucket, ecstatic at the thought of serving Hashem according to His will.  

Upon hearing all the commotion, the prison guards approached the cell and witnessed the bizarre scene of two prominent Rebbes dancing and rejoicing around a bucket of waste.  Not wanting the Rebbes to have any kind of satisfaction, they stormed the prison cell and removed the bucket of waste, delighted at having deprived the Rebbes their pleasure…as soon as the guards left, the Rebbe turned towards Jerusalem and davened Mincha, once again delighted to serve Hashem in the best way he could.


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