R' Shimshon Pincus was a renowned Torah personality who impacted hundreds of lives. His sefarim are very popular and are found on the shelves of many batei midrashos. One of his more well-known sefarim is entitled Nefesh Shimshon.
R' Shimshon Pincus died tragically in a car accident in his 50s, along with his wife and some of his children. R' Shimshon Pincus relates in that letter that he once spent several hours cleaning his dormitory for chametz. After he completed the exhausting work, he realized that he forgot to clean out the attic. He reasoned to himself that he had a mitzvah d'rabbanan (Rabbinic obligation) to clean out the attic since it was a place where chametz might have been brought. He then proceeded to spend the rest of the night cleaning the attic until every drop of dust was cleaned out.
As a Heavenly reward for his mesiras nefesh in fulfilling that mitzvah d'rabbanan, R' Shimshon Pincus had an incredible spiritual high at the Seder the following night. Not only did he manage to stay up during the entire Seder, but he even stayed up that entire night as well relating the story of the Exodus from Egypt. R' Shimshon describes that he felt a special closeness to G-d after he cleaned out that attic. That feeling continued throughout the rest of Pesach. He kept learning all Yom Tov and carried his spiritual momentum with him to the following Shabbos. R' Shimshon attests that everything he achieved with the rest of his life was based on that one act of self-sacrifice.
R' Bamberger explained that we can all implement this message about mesiras nefesh in our own lives. Indeed, when a person voluntarily sets aside time to learn Torah when he is on vacation, he is performing an act of self-sacrifice. A person who gets up five minutes earlier for davening is also being moseir nefesh. One's true potential is brought out only when he is moseir nefesh for a mitzvah. This is how great people are made.
Moshe Stempel helped edit Great Jewish Letters by Rabbi Moshe Bamberger.
Copyright © 2022 Aish Haolam - All Rights Reserved.