Last week, the boys at Rambam were privileged to hear a surprise shiur from Rav Baruch Gigi, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion. Rav Gigi, who has a jam-packed schedule when he comes to New York, came to Rambam because of the special longstanding relationship that Rambam has with “Gush.”
Earlier in the day, Rav Gigi spoke in Manhattan; immediately after speaking at Rambam, Rav Gigi headed to New Jersey to speak once again.
“We know how tight his schedule is and we certainly did not want to impose, but when we got the invitation, we jumped at the opportunity!” said Rambam’s roshmesivta, Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman.
Rav Gigi spoke about the lessons to be learned from YaakovAvinu, who worked 24/6 for Lavan. “The Torah tells us that Yaakov endured the cold of winter and the heat of summer and didn’t sleep for many years. How is such a thing possible? We know it is impossible to go three days without sleep,” asked Rav Gigi.
Rav Gigi explained that the Torah means to tell us about personal responsibility. Yaakov never slept because his responsibility was always with him–“it was always on his head.”
Rav Gigi mentioned that the Gemara derives from the Torah’s account the extent to which a shomer must watch an object in his care. According to one opinion, a paid watchman must stay with the object all the time and can’t even lock it up safely without being physically present. “Our job is to be responsible and serve Hashem 24/7,” said Rav Gigi.
He recounted that in the early days of the yeshiva, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt’l, used to play basketball with the talmidim and always made sure to run up and down the court. “He used to chastise the boys who waited under the basket–saying that they weren’t putting forth their full effort.”
Rav Gigi’s message echoed that of Chazal, who taught “Lefum tza’ara agra–in accordance with effort is the reward.”
The talmidim truly enjoyed the shiur and were inspired by Rav Gigi’s words.