LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

My Part

†† The king was getting married and one of his villages was selected to provide a small vat of wine to be drunk at the wedding feast.It was decided that each family would add one cup of their finest wine to the vat.The resulting mixture would be a gift from the entire village.One family decided that rather than add a cup of expensive wine, they would add a cup of water.After all, one cup of water would not be enough to dilute the entire vat.Each family climbed up the ladder and poured their contribution into the vat.When the vat was presented to the king by the townís leaders he was so pleased that he immediately asked for a cup to be drawn.To everyoneís surprise the vat contained not wine but pure water.Each family had the same idea and neglected to contribute their fair share.

 

†† In the morning service a statement is made that these prayers are for the purpose of uniting G-d in the heavens with his presence in this world (the Shechinah).1How could the imperfect prayers of one individual unite the infinite G-d and His presence in the entire world? No one is that powerful.†††

 

†† G-d created the world as a place that appears to exist separate from Him.He is just as much present in this world as he is in the highest heavens but His presence in the world is hidden.2Is His hidden presence in this world separated from the G-d we know in the heavens?

 

†† In G-dís eyes there is no disunity.From His perspective He is whole.God does not have pieces or parts that can be separated from the whole.He does not see that He is missing a piece that is trapped in this world like a man who has lost an arm.There is no disunity from G-dís perspective.

 

†† This prayer refers to His being concealed from us.††† Because his presence is concealed it gives the impression of a separation and incompleteness.

 

†† Consider a person reading in his living room while the rest of the family is elsewhere in the house.The spouse is in the kitchen, one child is in the basement and another in her room.He canít hear or see his family members and is not interacting with them.However, he knows they are present. He feels a certain peace and contentment.

 

†† Now consider the same person except that the spouse and children have gone out of town.Once again he is reading in the living room reading.He canít hear or see his family members and is not interacting with them.However, in this case he knows they are not present.This causes him to have an emptiness and sense of incompleteness, a disunity within.He may try to fill that void by turning on a TV or radio.He goes to bed later, canít get settled, etc. Even though the environment is the same, the lack of his familyís presence affects him profoundly.

 

†† Finally, imagine his family has secretly returned and are hidden in the attic.Though they are home their presence is hidden from him.He will still feel the emptiness and disunity within.Not because his family is not present but because he is not aware of their presence.

 

†† G-dís presence is concealed from us and it is as though He is not here. This causes a sense of incompleteness and disunity within us.The lack of unity is not that G-d is disunited.The disunity is because his presence is concealed and we feel an emptiness.

 

†† It is G-dís intent that through manís actions this world become like a house where He can leave the attic and His presence will be revealed.ďThrough this there will be a dwelling place in the lower worlds and created beings for his blessed oneness in a revealed state.Just as in an ordinary dwelling a personís identity is totally revealed, so will the true essence of the divine oneness be then revealed among the beings of this lower world as explained above.That this is the ultimate divine intent, that a human being service should make the world a dwelling place for Him3

 

†† A personís actions transform this world into a place where He is revealed.It may be for only a moment, for only one prayer or one mitzvoth but, that act of obedience is proof that there is a G-d.

 

†† One person is not responsible for transforming the entire world.But he can transform his part.It does not matter whether other people are doing their part.One person can pray or perform mitzvoth as an expression of his belief in G-d.When he does that his part of the world, his body, becomes a dwelling place for G-d.A place that reveals that which is concealed.

1. Morning service, right before Baruch Sheíemar

2. Tanya,  Likutei Amarim, Chapter 51 

3. Quoting from Lessons of Tanya, p. 761, regarding Tanya,  Likutei Amarim, Chapter 50 

 

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Arenít More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-dís Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soulís Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Donít Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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