Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 

Guidebook to Life

Michael Alterman

A common misconception about Judaism is that its practice and observance is restricted to the synagogue sanctuary. Whether it be consciously or subconsciously, we are prone to thinking that upon leaving the synagogue grounds, anything goes. Of course, even a cursory glance through the Torah dispels this myth, as G-d's guidebook to life speaks to us in every place and circumstance imaginable. This lesson is beautifully demonstrated through a brief passage in Parshas Emor.

Amidst the discussion of the yearly cycle of festivals, the Torah speaks to the farmer and provides him instruction for the harvest of his crop. This important season commences with a command for the Jewish people to bring the omer offering of flour to the Temple on the second day of Passover (Leviticus 22:10), followed by the special "bread offering" seven weeks later on Shavuot (ibid. 22:16-17). As the harvest ensues, the Torah commands that the farmer abandon any forgotten sheaves in the field for the poor to gather, and the harvest concludes with the farmer leaving the corner of his field for the poor (ibid. 16:22). Mitzvot opportunities abound every step of the way, and this passage relates only a few of those precious gems just waiting to be seized. Through the careful observance of these mitzvot, the farmer can elevate his mundane work into an activity through which he can continually grow closer to Hashem.

Although most of us do not make our living by tilling the soil, like the farmer we are also constantly faced with the danger of becoming overly involved in our quest to put bread on the table. It is easy to lose sight of the reality that G-d is truly the one who provides for our needs. The Torah is replete with mitzvot to be carried out in every scenario of our lives and at all times of the day. By carefully following G-d's guidebook, we can transform every aspect of our lives into sanctified experiences, forging a meaningful relationship with our loving Creator.

Based on the early 20th century commentary on the Torah, Meshech Chochmah, by Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen of Dvinsk.


Michael Alterman is a Torah From Dixie Staff Writer. He is a graduate of Yeshiva Atlanta, and is a student at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College and Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore.


 

ARTICLES ON TAZRIA AND METZORAH:

View Complete List

Thought Provoking
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Skin Deep
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Placing The Partitions
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

ArtScroll

Tzaraas: Spot the Problem
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

The Lesson of House Tzaraas
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Your Time Is Up
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Power of Words
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Spiritual Connection and Actual Observance
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Conception,Perception, and Better Reception
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

> Changing the "Eye"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Making One's 'Bed' - And Lying In It
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Plants and Wheelchairs
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Someone Order Matzah to Go?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Remember What G-d Did To Miriam
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

The Flowering of Redemption
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

The Torah Rewards Faithfulness
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information