MidrESHET Hayil

Friday, August 19, 2011

Parashat Ekeb

Parashat Ekeb reveals to us both sides of HaKadosh Barukh Hu; His attribute of Mercy (Rahamim) and His attribute of Justice (Din). The Parasha opens with a list of bountiful blessing we will be given if we follow the Missvot by 'circumcising out hearts' and lowering our egos in order to accept HaShem's guiding Hand in our lives. However, the Torah HaKedosha warns us, should we begin to think that the wealth and land that we amass are a product of our own effort and strength, should we exemplify such arrogance, then HaShem Yitbarakh will have no choice but to expose his attribute of Judgment.

So, how are we able avoid the strict Judgment of Ribono Shel Olam, HaShem, and to be nourished instead by His Mercy and Kindness?

We must first understand how this world runs. HaKadosh Barukh Hu operates this world on two systems; the system of nature and the system of the supernatural. The system of nature runs by 'cause-and-effect'. If I plant a seed, it will grow. If I throw a rock to the sky, it is sure to fall back down. Under this system, there will always be a specific (and almost expected) reaction to every action. This is the system by which we derive reward and punishment. If you do something good, you will be rewarded as a result. If you do something not so good, you can expect a punishment. This is called Justice; HaShem's attribute of Judgment.

The system of the supernatural does not run under the same concept. If we are able to elevate ourselves from the mundane happenings in life, if we are able to sanctify our daily activities, if we are able to humble ourselves before HaShem Yitbarakh and finally accept that He is our Master, our Father, and our Creator then we can rise to a level where we are not judged but rather accommodated. As long as our hearts are in the right place, even if we mess up from time to time, HaShem will understand and only help us to grow.

This is why the prelude to the Shema in this Parasha explains to us that we are leaving Egypt, a land where we had to plant seeds and water them in order to have sustenance and going to a land where water falls from the Heavens (as is stated in the pasuk). We are leaving a place (physically AND spiritually) which was run by cause-and-effect, which was subject to Midat HaDin (the attribute of justice) and turning to somewhere above nature, where we can obtain unexpected things, things greater that we deserve, because it is reigned by Midat HaRahamim, the attribute of Mercy.

Our job in life is to transcend the system of nature and to tap into the system of the supernatural. In order to do that, we must live the paradox that lowering oneself really elevates a person and that sincere submission brings true freedom. Be'ezrat HaShem may we all have the clarity to realize and internalize this and the koach to execute it. May we all become the supernatural beings that we are meant to be.
Wishing everybody a supernatural Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorakh!
Ariella Samimi

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