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Thought for the Day: Constant Reminders Above and Below

In his final speech to Klal Yisrael, Moshe Rabeinu calls on Heavens and Earth to be witnesses.  Rashi (on devarim 30:19, in his first explanation) says that Moshe Rabeinu is telling Klal Yisrael that since they last forever, when difficulties befall you in the future the Heaven and Earth will still be here as witnesses that you were warned.  The obvious question is, "So what?".  How in the world is the fact that two non-sentient objects that were around when the warning was given and are still around in the future supposed to motivate m?

I'll tell you what so.  We say every morning that HaShem "ose ma'aseh b'reishis" -- is making (present tense, not "did make" in the past) the doing of creation.  Every moment is a new creation in and of itself.  For those of us old enough to remember super-8 movies, Chazal are telling us that reality is like that movie.  Frame after frame of one captured moment after another, that when viewed one after the other in quick succession give the illusion of motion.  (For those of you too young to know what I am talking about, check out the Wikipedia page on animation.)

Now it becomes a huge deal that the Heavens and Earth were there when we were warned and are still here.  It means that HaShem in His overflowing kindness has continued to make and remake the Heavens and Earth for us.  People misuse the Heavens by turning it into avoda zara; HaShem continues to provide us the Heavens.  (Not a bad thing to remember when saying, "asher nasan l'sechvi bina l'havchin bein yom u'vein laila.")  People misuse the bounty of the Earth and fall into "kochi v'otzem yadi" (my strength and the might of my hand); HaShem continues to provide us the Earth.  (Not a bad thing to have in mind when saying, "roka ha'aretz al ha'mayim.")

That should be a motivating (and sobering) thought.

24 Elul, 5771


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