Saturday, February 18, 2006

Waking up in the morning to serve G-d

The first Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch, helek Orach Chaim, deals with waking up in the morning.

A man is supposed to wake up in a morning full of energy, like a lion, in order
to "serve his creator".
Rav Elon told us that maybe the psak of the shulchan aruch is different then what most people think. Maybe really, the psak isn't that a person must wake up full of energy(although this is also important), but the special psak is that we must be slaves to G-d, serve our creator. What's the pshat (explanation)? We have to serve our creator and nothing else.

For example, if you take a pure pure chabadnik that believes 100% that the Rebbeis the mashiach and wake him up at 3 am, he will automatically sing to you:"Yehi Adonenu, Moreinu Verabenu, Melekh Hamashiach, Leolam Vaed"

If you take a Beslover, and wake him up at 3 am, he will start singing for RebbeNachman. Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman, Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman....
If you take a "litvak", and wake him up at 3 am, he will start telling you a whole gemara by heart. Rashi, Tosfot, all the rishonim acharonim... even the Kzo"s" (Ksot, for us sefardim)
If you take a Mizrachi (religious zionist) person, since he is much more"modern", he will probably start hitting you for waking him up ;-) if you wake him up at 3 am. But if he is very extreme in his views, he will probably tell you: lets go save hevron!If you take a Neturei Karta, and wake him up at 3 am, he will probably tell you that Israel is a state of kofrim, full of sinners, that we should destroy Israel.[
They are all wrong.... They are all going against Judaism. The psak of the shulchan arouch is that when we wake up at 3 am in at night, we have to automatically think of how to serve our creator. That should be our goal. And whether you are a chabadnik singing Yehi, a Breslover singing for Rabi Nachman, a Litvak learning only gemara, a religious zionist living in chevron or a neturei karta going against israel, the only way your ideology is credible is if it really is ONLY a tool in order to get closer to G-d, not a goal in itself.When Rav Elon told us that, I realized something I repeated many times: There is no real difference between a very extreme religious zionist ready to destroy essential parts of the State of Israel (unity, army, etc...) in order to save some land, and some neturei karta ready to do everything to stop a secular state from existing. So we shopuld stop getting so mad when we see a Neturei Karta holding a Palestinian flag if our intentions aren't much better: Of course, our actions don't come even close to how much these people hurt the Jewish People. However, our intentions are just as bad. We all must know our goals and do our best to achieve them. And our only goal should be our avodat hashem and the best for Am Israel. We have to find what really is the best for Am Israel, Erets ISrael and Torat Israel and not try to find out what is best for us or our sect of Judaism. Then we will be honest and good Jews.We believe being part of the state of Israel is the best way to serve G-d. We believe keeping Gush Katif and Hevron and all the land of Israel is the best for Am Israel. However, when our protests hurt our goals more then they help them, then our goal has changed: it is not anymore to serve G-d but rather to keep Israel. When we do some things that kill the unity in the Jewish People in order to keep some land, we have forgotten that the reason we are zionist in the first place is to serve G-d.May we all learn that the best way to protect the land of Israel is to hug our fellow secular jews and explain them, with a lot of love, why we must be right. Then, maybe all the horrible gzerot which are falling on our community will be cancelled and we will have a better, more loving government (and no Olmert who, we all know, is just powerful thanks to Sharon's reputation).

There's a famous story of a chassid that once did a very bad sin. Then, at night, he had a dream where G-d asked him: "Why did you do this horrible sin?" The chassid said: "Well, you know, I have a yetser hara, I am not perfect... I'm sorry, but please, G-d, do me one favor" G-d asked him what that favor should be and the chassid answered: "Please don't tell the rebbe... lets keep it between us".

May we all learn to stop practicing judaism solely to serve our own "rebbe": whether this rebbe is a person, the land of Israel, a gemara or anything else. Lets try to all find out what G-d, himself, really wants out of us. As long as this will be our intention, our actions will stay justified and right.


lucyjackson60244619 said...
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Chai18 said...

nice post

simone613 said...

Very nice post Dan!
By the way, ellouz...isn't that from Sfax?