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Shabbat Parashat Noach 5779

Ein Ayah: Different Ways to Connect the Holy and the Mundane

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 7:1)

Gemara: Rav Huna says: If one is walking on distant routes or is in the desert and he does not know when Shabbat is, he counts six days and then observes one day as Shabbat. Chiya bar Rav says: He observes one day as Shabbat and then counts six more days [of presumed weekday]. What is the basis of their argument? One opinion follows the creation of the world, [which started with six days and ended with Shabbat]. The other opinion follows Adam, [who, being created on the sixth day, observed Shabbat right away and then had six weekdays].

 

Ein Ayah: Holy (kodesh) and mundane (chol) are interconnected. Without kodesh there is no value to chol, whereas the former elevates life to the level that the latter can be used in a proper way, as the mundane also contains sparks of sanctity. Generally, things follow a set pattern. The mundane exists, does what it needs to, and enables sanctity to shine upon it at the right time.

A person who is involved in all of this can be confident that the mundane can bring the sacred. This works as long as the individual goes along with society, as existence of the world gives spiritual expression to everything in the world, connecting things to the “general path.” Providence will not allow him to remain in the middle of the way, to be entrenched in chol without a prospect of its turning into kodesh. This is because “general sanctity” is prepared to shine on all around it at the right time, without the individual having to do something specific to reach it.

Someone who is separated from the activity of the community, for example, if his harsh conditions required him to embark on treks to isolated places, is in a different situation, which has two elements. The hidden character of his soul, as a member of the community and one who enjoys the spiritual advantages thereof, can take an approach that connects to general existence. He can follow the example of the creation of the world, in which chol came first and the light shone after the dark after chol prepared the way for it.

However, if one wants to be sure to be connected to sanctity, not only in terms of what he desires, but also in terms of practicality, it is dangerous to begin with  the mundane. This is because he can get bogged down in the chol so that the light of sanctity will be totally hidden from him. If he is acting as an individual, he should follow the lead of Adam, who first was connected to Shabbat, and as a result, the subsequent chol was full of grandeur. He will thereby avoid sinking into the depths of chol, lacking the glory of kodesh.

Separation from being part of a group has its impact on a person by removing the assurances given to the community. This is the case whether he is forced to go on a lonely route or whether he purposely separates himself by going to a desert for its lifestyle, which enables him to avoid the complications of dealing with people of the prevalent cultures of the time, which prevent the life of sanctity from being revealed. Even in the latter case, where his intentions were nobler than those of the masses, such a loner does not have a strong assurance of success. For the greatest promise of spiritual success is in being connected to the whole unit. One then follows the established path instead of having to agonize over whether to take the path of putting the chol before the kodesh or the kodesh before the chol to ensure that the chol will be elevated.

“My foot stood on straight ground; I will bless Hashem in congregations” (Tehillim 26:12). “Hashem sat individuals in a house” (ibid. 68:7).  

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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Leah Rachel bat Chana

Meira bat Esther

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

David Chaim ben Rassa

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar   10

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9 5776


Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8 5776


Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10   5774


Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9 5769

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l


R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l


Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13, 5778


Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23 5777

 

Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton)

Polin z"l

Tammuz 19, 5778

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

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