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Thought for the Day: Who Girds Yisrael Heroically

One may ask, what exactly is so heroic about wearing a belt?  The Achas Sha'alti brings from the Munkacher that this bracha does not refer to the act of wearing a belt, but rather to the heroism and strength displayed by making a separation between our higher (intellectual) faculties and our lower (animal) faculties.  This separation allows the intellect to remain the master who directs the animal and not a slave to serving the animal.

Lest you think that is being a little "over the top", please note how Chazal understand Bilaam's famous blessing, "How goodly are your tents, O Israel". (Bamidbar 24:5).  Rashi there brings two explanations.  One is that Bilaam was praising klal yisrael for not aligning their tent openings, thus avoiding even accidentally seeing a neighbor in the privacy of their home.  Alternatively, Bilaam was referring to Shilo and the Bais HaMikdash where korbanos were to be brought to atone for our sins.  Chazal are saying that averting one's eyes is tantamount to bringing korbanos!

I think it is important to realize and appreciate that the weakness we feel at times is not due to our low stature, rather it is from the magnitude of the struggle to remain holy in this profane world.

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