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Friday, 25 February 2011 08:00

doctor's orders

art-takenumberVisitors entering his room in Halberstadt would find him [Rabbi Yisrael Salanter] with a German book open in front of him, performing physical exercises, following the instructions and diagrams with utmost precision as ordered by the doctor.

As has been previously related, he took up carpentry for a while, because the doctor had so ordered. To him, the commandment to preserve one's life was as binding as any other mitzvah, and doctor's orders important rules of halachah, on the same level as the rulings of the Shulchan Aruch with respect to forbidden and permitted foods, which had to be carried out to the letter.

Once he was seen gazing at the heavens at twilight. He was waiting for the exact moment when the stars would appear. Having apparently been ordered by his doctor to rest from his studies for three days, he obviously faithfully complied. As the third day was ending, however, he stood outside to mark the exact time when the restriction would end. "Just as it is forbidden to delay Torah study for a minute, because of the mitzvah," he explained, "so is it forbidden to begin one minute too early, because of the mitzvah of guarding one's health."  -- The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, Part 2, page 192

Published in stories
Sunday, 28 November 2010 06:58

not free from it

art-workloadRabbi Tarfon would say: The day is short, there is much work [to be done], the workers are lazy, [even though] the wages are great and the Householder is insistent. He would also say: It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task, but neither are you free to absolve yourself from it. If you have learned much Torah, you will be greatly rewarded, and your employer is trustworthy to pay you the reward of your labors. And know, that the reward of the righteous is in the World to Come.  --Avot 2:15-16

Published in mesorah
Friday, 15 October 2010 07:09

order from below

art-clutterEvery system in the universe has many forces acting on it that have the potential to disrupt and disorganize the original intended order.  In the beginning, God pulled His “light” into the universe as the energy of creation and good.  Our job is to tap into that light and help be little mini-agents of creation. When we bring order back into our lives, we are actually acting in emulation of the First Agent Who facilitated this creation process. The sages teach us that the “Spirit of God / Ruach Elohim”, which hovered over the deepness of chaos, was the Spirit of Messiah. 

Published in torah
Monday, 11 October 2010 20:13

myopic diligence

art-eyechartmy·op·ic – adjective

1. Ophthalmology . pertaining to or having myopia; nearsighted.

2. unable or unwilling to act prudently; shortsighted.

3. lacking tolerance or understanding; narrow-minded.

Then a certain sage arose to test him and said, “Teacher, what should I do to take possession of eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?” He answered and said, “Love HaShem your God with all of your with all of your soul, and with all of your strength, and with all of your knowledge [Devarim 6:5], and your fellow as yourself” [Vayikra 19:18]. He said to him, “You have answered well. Do this and live.”

He desired to justify himself so he said to Yeshua, “Who is my fellow?”

Yeshua answered and said, “A certain man went down from Yerushalayim to Yericho, and he fell victim to robbers. They stripped him, even wounding him, and they abandoned him. As he stood between death and life, they walked on.  A certain kohen happened upon him going down that road. He saw him and passed over him. Likewise, a Levi came to the place and approached and saw him but passed over him. Then a Shomroni was walking on the road. He came upon him and saw him, and he felt moved.  He approached him and bandaged his wounds and applied oil and wine to them. He had him ride on his animal, led him to the inn, and provided for him. The next day, when he traveled, he brought out two dinarim and gave them to the owner of the inn. He said, “Provide for him. Whatever else you spend on him I will repay you when I return.”  Now, who of these three was a fellow in your eyes to the one who fell victim to the robbers?

He said, “The one who carried out the chesed.” Yeshua said to him, “Go and do likewise yourself.” – Matthew 10:25-37, DHE

Published in besorah

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