Spiritual Tools: Yeshuot David: Finding Your Path
The 6th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yehoshua Dovid (ben Shlomo) Povarsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh (1902-1999). When he was twelve years old, he learned with Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer in Slutzk. Afterward, he transferred to Poltova, where he became deeply attached to his rav muvhak, Rav Yeruchom Levovitz, whom he followed to Kelm and Ponovezh.
From Ponovezh, he transferred to Mir yeshiva and became very close to Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz. One of his chavrusas in Shulchan Oruch was Rav Aharon Kotler. A while after his marriage, he transferred to the yeshiva in Baranowitz, where he studied under Rav Elchonon Wassermann. Later, Reb Yeruchom sent Rav Dovid to be a ram in Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin headed by Rav Meir Shapira of Lublin. Rav Dovid merited to form a special bond with Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky. His divrei Torah were published as Yeshuos Dovid.
The Talmud (Makkot 10b) teaches: Rabbi Huna reporting R. Eleazar said: From the Torah, the Prophets and the Ketubim it may be shown that one is allowed to follow the road he wishes to pursue. From the Torah, as it is written, “And God said to Balaam, ‘You shalt not go with them (Bamidbar 12:12),” and then it is written, “If the
men came to call you rise up and go with them (Verse 20).”
From the Prophets, as it is written, “l am the Lord your God who teaches you for your profit, Who leads you by the way that you should go (Isaiah 48:17).”
From Ketubim, as it is written, “If he is of the scorners, he will [be allowed to] speak scorn and [if] of the meek, he will show forth grace (Proverbs 3:34).”
We cannot take this to mean that Heaven will simply allow us and help us go in the direction we choose! The Person must demonstrate his commitment to his path, and persevere despite all hardships to follow his path. Only at that point will Heaven guide him in “his” direction. (Introduction to Yeshuot David)