Secularism - The Most Dangerous Disease

Updated: May 27, 2020

Article from: Alon HaKokodesh (8) Yom Kippur Edition

“…if there’s no neshama, then what are the flowers for.  If there is one, then what can the flowers do for it?” Rav Yaakov Galinsky zt’l

While small in physical stature, HaRav Yaakov Galinsky was a Torah giant with a fiery neshama bigger than this world.  Known to speak fiery Mussar to warm up the neshamot of his fellows even during the deathly cold of Siberian prison, Rav Galinsky yearned for opportunities to do Zikkuy HaRabim[1] in any corner of the world.  When a wealthy family invited him to speak at the funeral of their father, Rav Galinsky saw it as another opportunity to bring more Torah light to the world, while hopefully raising money for his Yeshiva.  The original plan to mourn and cheer up the family changed once he saw that the glamorous flowers were even more modest than many of the family members—secularism has captured this family too.  “I was asked to come speak on behalf of the family, but I am here to speak on behalf of the dead father” said Rav Galinsky.  “If there’s no neshama, then what are the flowers for?  If there is one [neshama], then what can the flowers do for it?”  These were the shocking words that started a short speech full of hard Mussar that surprised everyone into deafening silence.  Although the Rav did not get a penny of the promised donation to his yeshiva, he was happy to accept another invitation by the now more modest family for the yahrzeit of their father the following year.