In this week’s Parsha, Balak, Balak the king of Moav hires Bilam to curse the Jewish people. Bilam has a record of cursing people; even whole nations, successfully. His power was bestowed upon him by HaKadosh baruch Hu and he used this power for evil. It is remarkable to note how far HaKadosh baruch Hu extends Man the freedom of choice. He even lets Man use the gifts of spirituality for evil.
Bilam was eager to curse our people but HaKadosh baruch Hu was committed to us and prevented him. Not only was Bilam unsuccessful in placing a curse upon our people but HaKadosh baruch Hu took away Bilam’s free will and forced him to say blessings instead of curses. The Prophet Micha references this incident to demonstrate the love that HaKadosh baruch Hu has for us. Although He gave Bilam free will to do as he wished and to curse anybody he desired, nevertheless, when Bilam was going to use it against HaShem’s people, He blocked it.
In this context I would like to share with you, who my dear brother in-law was. His name was Nossie Munk and lived in Monsey with his beautiful family. Last week, just after his 50th birthday his special neshoma returned to its Creator, after suffering several years from a blood disorder. Nossie was not a regular fellow; although he was not a rabbi, he did have a penetrating insight to all that happened in his life. He, like HaKadosh baruch Hu, was able to turn what seemed like a curse into blessings.
Nossie had clarity that HaKadosh baruch Hu created the world and all that is in it. He had clarity that HaKadosh baruch Hu manages and micromanages His world down to the very finest detail. He had clarity that HaKadosh baruch Hu loves every person and looks out for their very best. He had clarity that no matter what happens in a person’s life it is under HaKadosh baruch Hu’s watchful and caring Eye.
Throughout his sickness, even in times of pain and weakness, Nossie continuously expressed his gratitude to HaKadosh baruch Hu for all the goodness that He bestowed upon him.
He told me during his sickness “When I get better I am going to be the best Jew I can be. I do not believe HaShem expects me to learn 10 hours a day, I simply am not able to do that. But I can dedicate myself to chesed and will be an inspiration to others to give of themselves to help others. That is what I can do.”
Nossie placed an extremely high value on Torah and for those who studied it. There were many situations where, in a discreet manner, he helped Torah scholars without their being aware of it.
Nossie loved the people who HaShem loved. Every Jew was special to Nossie. If there was a fellow Jew in need of assistance, whatever it may be, he did his very best to help him. There was once a situation where Nossie discovered a young man who was suffering from scoliosis that had no home to go to. In addition, he suffered from an eating disorder and other problems. Nossie and his wife took him into their own home, gave him his own bedroom, provided him food and took him for professional help. He lived with them for nine months till Nossie was able to get him into a center that could help him.
Nossie will be missed by his family, by his friends and by all who knew him. He will be missed by all those who might have had the opportunity to learn from his ways. May his memory be a blessing which will inspire us to follow his path.
I have included a copy of an update that Nossie sent his family and friends from the hospital back in December 2016. He wanted to share his thoughts and sentiments with others. He understood that other people could gain from his experience. So, in the spirit of Nossie, I am sharing this with others.
To download this file go to achim.org, click the “inspiration” tab and find the link to Nossie’s update.
Have a wonderful Shabbos.