Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Torah Guides You, Protects You, and Speaks for You

I have, Baruch HaShem and bli ayin hara, had the z'chus in the past to make a siyum now and again.  Part of the hadran is to quote the pasuk from Mishlei (6:22):
בְּהִתְהַלֶּכְךָ, תַּנְחֶה אֹתָךְ-- בְּשָׁכְבְּךָ, תִּשְׁמֹר עָלֶיךָ וַהֲקִיצוֹתָ, הִיא תְשִׂיחֶךָ.
When you walk, she will lead you; when you lie down, she will protect you, and when you awaken, she will speak for you.
Of course we all understand that it is referring allegorically to the Torah.  The Torah guides you in this world, protects you in the grave, and will speak on you behalf (ie, the z'chus of learning Torah and doing mitzvos) after t'chiyas ha'meisim.  True, of course, but the simple p'shat also has to mean something.  The G"ra gives some fascinating insights into that (and more).

For one, the G"ra notes that you can read the going, lying down, and awakening as results rather than situations.  That is, for positive mitzvos you need to get going and to them.  For negative mitzvos (issurim) you need to "lie down", ie refrain from action.  For learning Torah, of course, you need to awaken.

The pasuk also refers to the three t'filos a day.  Mincha is to redirect your attention during the middle of your busy day back to reality.  Ma'ariv is to finish your day and sets the tone for your sleep to be a preparation for the next day (to be refreshed, rather than just being lazy), thus providing a measure of protection while you sleep.  Shacharis starts your day with divrei torah.

Another reason that you need protection while you sleep is that the neshama heads upstairs for the evening, leaving your body (with enough nefesh to stay alive) at the mercy of "klipos".  What are klipos?  You don't want to know, but think "vampire bads that feed on your spirituality and vitality.  When the neshama comes back in the morning, she wants to talk and tell you all about the cool stuff she learned upstairs that night; hence "when you awaken, she will speak to you".

Apparently my chavrusa is much more spiritual than I; he reported to me that his trouble getting up in the morning is tearing himself way from the fascinating report being delivered by his neshama.  Me?  I'm just tired.  I rely on my chavrusos to help me infuse spirituality into my day.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…

Thought for the Day: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Hydroponically Grown Humans... I Feel Sick

I am quite openly not at all objective about abortion in particular and the treatment of human embryos and fetuses in general.  I am, after all, the survivor of a failed abortion attempt.  Not "thought about it, but couldn't go through with it"; not "made appointment, but then chickened out at the lost moment"; but, "tried a procedure, but was unsuccessful in attempt to abort".  Nonetheless, I try very hard to listen to the liberal arguments (which I also used to chant as part of the general liberal catechism), and am genuinely empathetic to the plight of women who find themselves in that difficult position.

What I heard on NPR this morning, however, has left me feeling physically ill.  You can read about it, if you like, but here's the bottom line:  Scientists in Cambridge have achieved a new record, they fertilized a human ova and then kept it alive in vitro (that is, in a test tube/petri dish in a laboratory) for 14 days.  The scientist involve…