As I sit at my desk and reflect on the past year, I cannot help but feel like it has gone by so quickly, while at the same time, it was one of the slowest moving years of my life. As some of you might know, I lost my father ob”m last year, just a few days before Rosh Hashanah. I recently finished saying Kaddish, which was a very intense experience. It was a year of ups and downs and as the only son (I have three sisters, B”H), I took the recital of Kaddish and learning of Mishnayos very seriously.
While thinking about the past year, one particular moment stood out and I would like to share that with you. As I stood in shul last Yom Kippur and asked Hashem for forgiveness, I thought about how just twenty days before that I stood at the side of my father’s aron and asked him for forgiveness. I remember standing there and thinking that surely my father forgave me with his whole heart – I could feel him smiling down at me, and could almost hear him say, “Oh, Chaim. It’s okay. It’s all good….”
Then it occurred to me that Hashem is our Father and, like the Baal Shem Tov teaches, he surely loves each and every one of us like a father loves his only son. Without a doubt, Hashem forgives us all wholeheartedly, and says, “It’s okay, just go and do your best.”
This reflection brought about a second observation…being an only son has its privileges, but it also comes along with serious responsibilities. It’s similar to Yiddishkeit – we are privileged to be Hashem’s chosen nation, but this honor comes with the serious responsibility of the yoke of Torah and mitzvos.
I feel privileged to be a part of OK Kosher for the past 26 years, where every day we are honored to carry the torch of Torah and mitzvos, while making kosher without compromise our top priority.
Wishing you and your family a k’siva v’chasima tovah, shana tovah u’mesukah.
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman
Editor in Chief
Rabbi Chaim Fogelman is a member of the OK Kosher Vaad HaKashrus.