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Shabbat Parashat Tetzaveh 5773

Ein Ayah: One Who Has Deep Things to Say about the Seemingly Trivial

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:253)

Gemara: Bar Kappara would sell ideas for dinar coins.


Ein Ayah: A gold dinar coin is a small but important coin that includes many smaller currencies. So too did Bar Kappara’s ideas in general matters cover many different concepts, each of which was fit to teach something that had an impact in both spiritual and physical matters.

The idea of connecting simple sayings to great ideas of benefit is a talent that comes from a pure spirit, which is able to view and connect simple things to great concepts. Such a person is able to rejoice in whatever he is involved, for every discussion and every ostensibly lowly involvement will not prevent him from turning his attention to the sanctity of great thoughts. The fact that Bar Kappara was able to always make connections between simple speech and elements of life made him a happy person, as the pasuk says: “The heart of he who seeks Hashem will be happy” (Tehillim 105:3).   


Reacting Promptly to Physical and Spiritual Needs

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:254)


Gemara: Before you get hungry, eat. Before you become thirsty, drink. When you first need to urinate, do so promptly.


Ein Ayah: It is appropriate for all people to “listen to the voice” of his internal feelings, as the Creator gave us these feelings to protect us from bad things and to lead us on the path of life. The idea of listening to internal signals applies to matters of the body and to matters of the spirit in a manner that there is overlap between the two of them.

Sometimes a person’s mind will be tuned in to matters that are of direct practical import, such as matters of practical halacha. This is hinted at in the Rabbis’ statement about eating when hungry, as bread can be a reference to halachic rulings (see Chagiga 14a). Other times a person will find himself drawn to matters of song and aggadic discussion, which bring a person to cling to Hashem and feel holy and pure feelings of love and fear of Hashem. That phenomenon is hinted at in the idea of thirst for water (ibid.). A person should leave time for each of these spiritual desires according to his internal feelings. The desire for a specific matter is a sign that the person is missing something in that area of spiritual involvement. This is included in what the Rabbis instructed to eat and drink when those feelings presented themselves.

Sometimes a person will feel a need to concentrate on an area in which he sinned, and he will have an urge to remove the element of sin that may have attached itself to him. He may then turn to prayer, supplication, and admittance of his wrongdoing. He should not delay such a feeling, to remove the bad and the spiritual waste from within him, to purify his spirit before his Maker with a feeling of spiritual strength. This is included in the instruction to remove the waste when one has an urge to do so.

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