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An Inspiring Visit from Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro

This week, Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, a world-renowned speaker, came to inspire the high school students of Hebrew Academy.

Rabbi Shapiro shared a few stories—the first being about a mother and father who lost their three-year-old child. Eight boys called the parents of this child, telling them the boys would keep Shabbat one time in memory of their son. After the parents were asked if this was a big deal, the family, whom Rabbi Shapiro personally knows, answered that it was a very big deal. They said that they would do anything to get their child back for one Shabbat, and now Hashem was getting eight of his children back for one Shabbat.

Rabbi Shapiro also stressed that we need to do things to help the hostages because what we do here affects Israel as well. He also urged the students to do small things such as saying a few Tehillim (specifically Perekim 83, 130, and 142), or even just keep Shabbat one level higher, or increase one’s religious observance by one level.

This leads into his other story about how we are judged—especially the effect of blowing the shofar and how we treat Shabbat. Rabbi Shapiro was truly inspiring as he shared that our ‘lawyer’ is the shofar, and if we can’t blow the shofar (like this year), we are judged on how we keep Shabbat. This shows the importance of the little things we individually do that really do make a difference in what happens in Israel.

Lastly, Rabbi Shapiro made an impact in showing that our actions matter and that we must do our best by praying or doing a mitzvah with a little more kavanah. Be’ezrat Hashem, all the hostages should return safely and our people should be safe soon.

By: Tamar Van Dam (9th)

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