Friday, March 17, 2017

Mussar Drosha: Ki Sisa

Mussar Drosha: Ki Sisa:

The Mohorosh of Heichal HaKodesh Breslov (Rebbe Eliezer Shlomo Schick zt”l) writes (Positive Pointers; page 3): “The alarm clock sounds.  You throw off the covers, forcing yourself out of bed once again to face the stresses and strains of yet another day.  You dress yourself reluctantly and then halfheartedly head towards the door for another stressful day of work -- all while thinking of the unpaid bills and how unfulfilled you feel in so many aspects of your life.  Stop right there!  Have you noticed the rays of dawn’s light piercing through the edges of a dark, long winter’s night?  Don’t you hear the children’s laughter reverberating through the air as they chase each other at the bus stop corner?  Aren’t you dazzled by the marvelous sight of the myriads of buds lining the branches of barren trees that have spontaneously begun to sprout -- silently proclaiming the long-awaited arrival of spring?  Before you dash into your car and jump into your daily routine, take a moment and just soak up the majesty of the scenery unfolding before your eyes.”

Rushing:  It takes the wonderful moments away.  It sucks the beauty out of things that would be extremely inspiring and even life-changing if thought about and concentrated on.  

But unfortunately, we tend to rush through life.  Whether it be because of having to take care of a bunch of stressful things at work or just in our lives overall -- it goes by very fast.  Every week -- and certainly every day.  And we find ourselves wondering where all the time went and feeling bad about it.  This is probably one of the biggest ailments of today’s fast-moving world.

The Mohorosh zt”l is giving us an incredible piece of advice:  We need to slow down our lives -- take the time to see the little things.  If you just stop and look around, as Reb Schick zt”l was teaching us above, you will realize the beauty and Miraculousness of everything.  

This is a huge concept in Judaism and the Torah even teaches us it -- in many places:  For example, we have the Commandment of Tzitzis, and we are supposed to see the strings and it will remind us not to, Chas V’Shalom stray.  If we don’t slow things down and think about stuff, how are we going to possibly even think to look at them -- or if we do see them, think of the significance?!  Also fearing Hashem:  We are supposed to have the constant awareness that He is Above us, watching us.  But if, Chas V’Shalom, we are just running through life and don’t take the time to think, how will we fulfill that?  And there are other examples.  

In this parsha, we are told about the Kiyor:  The Kiyor was the vessel from which the Kohanim would wash their hands and feet before starting the Service.  Rebbe Shneur Zalman of Liadi zt”l, among others, rules (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 4:1): “Every person who arises from bed in the morning…… needs to wash his hands….. because every person, when HaKadosh Baruch Hu returns to him his Soul becomes like a new Creation…… A person entrusts his Soul weary, and HaKadosh Baruch Hu returns it to him new and rested…… Therefore, we need to sanctify ourselves in His Holiness and wash our hands from a vessel, in order to serve (perform) His Service and minister to Him, like a Kohen who would sanctify his hands from the Kiyor every day before his Service.”

What a beautiful thing!  Just think about that!  But when we wake up (Hashem willing) each morning and wash, we (at least I) tend to just do it because, alright, we know that’s the Halacha -- and even sometimes just by rote.  We almost for sure aren't thinking about the beauty of it described by Reb Shneur Zalman zt”l!  Same drill every day (Rachmana Litzlan/may Hashem save us):  Get up, wash, get going -- not slowing down and taking the time to think…… Such a beautiful and inspiring thing, such as this, can, Chas V’Shalom and Rachmana Litzlan become in our eyes like just a task because we are running through our day.  

And this concept is illustrated beautifully by HaRav Eliezer Kashtiel shlita:  He explains that the water of the Kiyor was about Sanctifying the thoughts and intentions of actions.  And he says that Sanctifying is to focus.  We must clean inside of ourselves and focus.  When doing things, we must also be there with our intentions. “The main thing of cleanliness, the main thing of purity, the main thing of the Kiyor is the heart” he says. (From B’Nefesh HaShabbos).  

And we may add that, when we slow down and think -- it purifies us just like the waters of the Kiyor.  

Every second and everything in life is so beautiful, wondrous and miraculous.  But you won’t notice that if you are just “running by”.  Torah and Life (one and the same, really) are more wondrous than the most beautiful landscape in the world.  But if we, Chas V’Shalom, just run through them with our mind elsewhere, we won’t notice it.  If we would just slow down, we would see it all………

May HaKadosh Baruch Hu help every person to do this, Amein Vi’Amein.

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