“For G-d’s portion is His people; Jacob is the measure of His inheritance” (Devarim/Deuteronomy 32:9) Our Kabbalistic sources tell us that G-d’s creation incorporates four universes, three of which are spiritual and the fourth is physical. It is in the physical universe that G-d’s presence is least evident and it is in the physical universe that we find ourselves. Therefore, the question is pondered, if the Jewish Nation is so dear to G- d, why did he relegate our souls to physical vessels of flesh and blood in our earthy physical world? Why did he not place us in one of the loftier universes?
The Chofetz Chaim (1) offers a parable. A boy was in the courtyard of a synagogue in the great metropolis of Vilna. He was searching for something as torrents of tears poured down his face. Sympathetic passersby on their way to prayers, upon asking him what he lost, found out he was looking for a copper coin his mother gave him before he left for school. With the entire group searching unsuccessfully, one of the participants asked the boy to indicate where in the courtyard he lost the coin. The lad confessed that he had lost the coin in the street but with all the mud and clay in the street following the recent rain, he did not want to dirty his shoes searching there.
Had G-d wanted Torah to remain in the spiritual realms He could have given it to the angels. But Torah belongs here in the physical world, and we belong here with it, because the very purpose of creation is the toil of the Jew to study and live Torah on a daily basis. The actualization of the purpose of the mitzvos (Divine commandments), to fortify our relationship with G-d and foster our G-d consciousness, can only happen in a world where “success” and “growth” are defined as our spiritual awareness conquering the mundane proclivities of our physical bodies. We may get “dirty” in the process, but we must conduct our search in the realm where our object will be found.
On Rosh Hashana we reestablish our relationship with Our Father, Our King; we utilize the remaining week before Yom Kippur buttressing that new found connection. In contemplating the formulation of this bond, we ponder fantastic spiritual paths and seek Divine assistance in removing the obstacles to our success. But are we on the right path? Are we looking in the right places? The Medrash (Shir HaShirim Rabbah) advises us of the Divine offer: “Open for Me an entry the size of the point of a needle and I will open for you a gateway that wagons can enter.” He will make it EASIER, but we must look where the coin has been lost; we must “get dirty” and expend that genuine first effort.
May we all be inscribed and sealed for a sweet and prosperous year! Have a Good Shabbos and a Good Yom Tov!
(1) Rabbi Yisrael Meir HaKohen Kagan of Radin; 1838 -1933; author of basic works in Jewish law, philosophy and ethics and renowned for his saintly qualities
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