Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  The Living Law
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayechi

What a Stone!

The toddler is joyfully playing with his new toy.

It is a shiny stone that he has mischievously picked up from the floor. And with a smile radiating upon his cute face, the child happily lets it fall onto the ground. And then with a glint in his eye, he flicks it across the room.

The object in question is, in actual fact, a priceless gem.

An elegant and rare antique dating back several centuries, its exquisite craftsmanship renders it a treasured heirloom.

But the toddler is blissfully oblivious to all this. In his eyes, this round object is a plain, shiny marble – something to nonchalantly roll and play with.

No one can fault the toddler for his ignorance. How could the young child have any knowledge of the stone’s historic origins? Could his immature mind ever grasp the notion that this stone might to be anything other than a plaything? He is unable to marvel at its polished surface or appreciate its radiance. Nor has he any inkling that this bright object might behold a higher, more sublime purpose.

Only an informed adult can register the travesty of how all the child sees is a marble rather than a magnificent jewel.


The principal investigation of a Jew is a quest for the meaning of Jewish living.

An appraisal of shemiras hamitzvos, mitzvah observance leads a Jew to the amazing discovery concerning the ancient code for living imprinted within the Torah. Despite being denigrated by some as a child’s plaything, a marble, it is anything but that.

Really, it is a dazzling and cherished gemstone. It is a precious stone of immeasurable value.

This urges us to devote more than just a fleeting superficial assessment to pass judgment on a system that has existed for millennia. He cannot afford to make the mistake of a toddler and to instantaneously dismiss the claim that the “stone” is an ancient heirloom, one that is divine in origin.

The Torah is a priceless legacy, a treasure exclusively bequeathed to the Jewish people at Sinai for posterity, to uphold and delight in its values and laws.

This realization propels the Jew to lovingly delve into their heritage and pursue the depth of the commandments and to conduct extensive research into their meaning.

It is shemiras hamitzvos, mitzvah observance which defines a Jewish lifestyle. This is his coveted national birthright and raison d’ętre of living. A glimpse of this is to be gleaned from the astounding statement attributed to the rabbis that “It is worthwhile for a person to live a full a lifetime just to be granted the opportunity to perform one mitzvah”!

So let us pick up that marble from the dusty floor. Let us polish it and elevate it to reveal the dazzling gem that it really is!!


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene and Torah.org.


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

We're Our Own Enemy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

A Dvar Torah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Future Judgement
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Focusing Our Prayers
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

The Time Is Now
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Armed With Torah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Tapping Into Our Meritorious Pedigree
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5768

ArtScroll

Different Courts, Different Rules
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Giving in to the Dictates of One's Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

A Party to the Problem
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

> Gratitude - A Hereditary Trait?
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Parshas Ki Seitzei
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5769

Yehi Ratzon - Text and Instructions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Overlook It When You've Been Wronged
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759



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