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Wednesday
Jul132016

SUPERHUMAN DEVOTION

By Rabbi Zalman Goldberg

One of the challenging aspects of Bitachon is that our devotion to Hashem should be complete, constant and unchanging. How can this be accomplished when our lives are subject to constant change? Especially upon taking into consideration the fact that we operate with intellect and reason, which can easily change from day to day, or more often. What may seem logical one hour can be eclipsed by a more compelling argument an hour later.

One of the main ways to express our commitment to Hashem is through the fulfillment of Mitzvos1.

From a purely human perspective it is a challenge to express this devotion to Hashem in a wholesome way. Some days the observance of mitzvos will come easier and will be done with zest, while at other times it will be less so. Chassidus on the other hand presents us with a strong outline for observing mitzvos in a superhuman manner with an element of permanence.

Torah also has two dimensions—the intellectual logical dimension, and the supra-rational dimension. The Mitzvos that fall under the rubric of Mishpatim are logical commandments and mentshliche people would behave accordingly regardless of being commanded to do so. The Mitzvos which are called Eidos are testimonies for historical G-dly occurrences and the reason for their fulfillment, once explained, is easily understood. The downside of being able to understand the mitzvos is that the fulfillment of the mitzvos may then become subject to our human limitations.

The third category of mitzvos is that of Chukim, the mitzvos that have no rational explanation. For example, the prohibition of wearing a mixture of wool and linen – shaatnez, and the prohibition to cook, consume or benefit from milk and meat combined are not logical mitzvos. The supremacy of these mitzvos is that they contain an element of G-dliness. Even though they may raise eyebrows as to why it’s necessary to command us regarding such prohibitions, when we contemplate the lack of logic in the Chukim mitzvos we will realize that it is the G-dly quality of the Mitzva which is totally beyond our understanding which is the driving force behind the Chukim.

In Chassidic terminology2, Chukim represent the true will of Hashem, with no intellectual reasoning concealing the pure will of Hashem. When discussing the Will of Hashem in its pure form there is one point and goal: that the Will be fulfilled. Whether or not the person is in the mood or whether the person thinks that that mitzvah is applicable or not is irrelevant. This notion, which stems from the essence of the Yiddishe neshama is that Hashem’s will must be fulfilled.

 In truth, all mitzvos, even those which are superficially rational, are also essentially the Will of Hashem. It is just that an element of wisdom and reasoning was added. All Mitzvos are the Will of Hashem and they all cause a supernatural connection between the one fulfilling the mitzvah and Hashem.

This concept is manifested by the Mitzva of ôøä àãåîä – the red heifer, which in reference to all other Chukim is considered a chok. Shlomo HaMelech commented that for most Chukim he found a rationalization, but for the chok of para aduma he could not find any reason, for its purity of Will and abstractness from wisdom was complete. (Of course there is no concern by Shlomo HaMelech that when he achieves understanding of a chok he will treat it rationally, for a tzaddik like him surely viewed all mitzvos as the pure Will of Hashem.)

 This teaches that the type of chok that the para aduma represented was the essence of every mitzvah, as reasonable as it may be.

When studying and contemplating and internalizing the true nature of mitzvos, our focus upon being faced with an opportunity to do a mitzvah will be, “How can I fulfill Hashem’s Will?’’ With such an attitude, our level of interest won’t be an issue, because it’s not a rational decision, its Hashem’s Will at stake and it must simply be done.

Also, the person will be sure to fulfill the mitzvah in a more than satisfactory manner to be sure that the mitzvah was fulfilled in its entirety, because if one detail is missing, the Will of Hashem may not have been fulfilled.

We are now in the season of the Geula of the Frierdike Rebbe, who is a prime example of observing and strengthening Yiddishkait without altering standards with the change of Russian policy. He remained in prison longer than necessary in order not to travel on Shabbos, and generally showed that he was completely unbending to the wishes of the Russian officials. This was as if to say, “Hashem’s3 Will comes first and there will be no other considerations.”

Ultimately, this brought to his redemption from prison, exile, and from Communist Russia altogether. The Rebbe’s influencing us to prepare the world for Moshiach is not only unending, it actually is stronger with each passing day, as we can see all of the positive, G-dly impact in the world today. Through our taking the example of unchanging and unending commitment to Hashem, may we merit to see the complete Geula now mamash.

Rabbi Zalman Goldberg is a well sought after speaker and lecturer on Chassidic thought. His writings and recordings on the topic of Bitachon can be accessed at http://www.gotbitachon.com. You can also receive his one minute daily Bitachon clip by sending a WhatsApp to 347.546.4402 with the word “Bitachon.”

                    

1) שער הבטחון פג

2) לקוש חיג ע’ 67

3) לקוש חכח ע’ 130

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