Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Haazinu

Sensitivity Training

By Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig

Just hours before his death, Moshe teaches the Jewish Nation a song with his final words of motivation and praises of G-d. It begins, "The Rock, perfect is His work, for all His ways are justice; a G-d of faith, without iniquity, righteous and fair is He." (Devarim/Deuteronomy 32:4) Rashi explains the term "of faith", which connotes being trusted to fulfill a promise, refers to G-d's trustworthiness to pay the righteous for their righteousness in the World to Come. The seemingly superfluous statement of "without iniquity" refers to the reality that even the wicked are given reward for their righteousness, but their payment is in this world.

This does not appear balanced. If rewards in this world are indeed comparable to rewards in the next, should not the righteous be allotted some physical rewards for their good deeds as are the wicked? If the rewards are not comparable, why should the wicked people be denied full payment for the few good deeds they did?

Our Sages teach us (Pirkei Avos/Ethics of the Fathers 4:22) that one hour of spiritual bliss in the World to Come is better than an entire life of pleasure in this world. The righteous are not rewarded for fulfilling mitzvos (G-d's commands) in this world is because any reward in this world would be substandard. Why then do such rewards suffice for the non-righteous?

Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler (1) explains that when a person dies, his soul, imbued with all the values and character with which it lived, returns to G-d's realm - a "world" where all experiences, including all rewards, are exclusively spiritual. A person whose focus in life was physical and temporal pleasures would find this situation the greatest torture. He would find himself in a realm in which he cannot have the things he truly wants, and he never developed the tools to appreciate the spiritual treasures he does have. He does not value this cache for the reward it truly is, so how can G-d reward him for the mitzvos he did do? He gives this person the physical currencies he DOES value - wealth, honor, luxuries - the remuneration of this temporal world. While such compensation is comparatively insignificant, it is the reward he has chosen for himself. But the person who focused on striving to connect to the Divine, developing his character and G-d consciousness with Torah study and mitzvah fulfillment, the physical necessities of this world are a hindrance. With the demise of the physical body, those limitations are removed and the soul can connect with G-d, fully able to experience and enjoy the ultimate pleasure.

The development of that relationship, the genesis of that G-d consciousness, is the product of the sensitivity training we choose to utilize during our physical lives in this world. Throughout the just completed Yom Kippur we often proclaimed, "For we are Your people and You are our G-d, we are Your Children and You are our Father.we are Your people and You are our King, we are your designated and You are our Designated." Now, we need to live it!

Have a Good Shabbos!

(1) 1891-1954; in Michtav Me'Eliyahu, his collected writings and discourses; from England and, later, B'nai Brak, he was one of the outstanding personalities and thinkers of the Mussar movement


Text Copyright 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig and Torah.org.

Kol HaKollel is a publication of The Milwaukee Kollel Center for Jewish Studies 5007 West Keefe Avenue Milwaukee, Wisconsin 414-447-7999


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

From Life
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

Too Perfect
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Faxs vs. Kidney Stones
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

> Before It Rains
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Hashem's Promise
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Not Better or Worse, Just Different
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

The Sign of the Olive
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Sins Committed In Private Ultimately Lead To a Violent Society
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

ArtScroll

Tire of Babel
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

The Ideal Way of Life
Shlomo Katz - 5768

People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774



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