Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your Thoughts and Yourself

It is interesting to what extent the words that people use reveal so much about them.
Once, a certain person who considered himself quite a scholar asked the Brisker Rav, zt”l: “Our Rabbi's teach that the color techeiles in one’s tzitzis resembles the sea which resembles the sky which should remind one of the throne of glory which the verse states is of a sapphire color.
He concluded, “I don’t understand how contemplating this will lead one to think of Hashem. After all, what is the correlation?”
The Brisker Rav responded with a question of his own, “Do you understand the teaching of our sages that one may not gaze at a woman’s colored clothes so as not to come to sin?”
“Yes,” the questioner responded.
“Nu, so we see that your head is working alright. So the only explanation has to do with the quality of your own thoughts. If your thoughts would turn to yiras shamayim, you would find it very easy to comprehend the connection. Your difficulty stems from the fact that your thoughts are elsewhere!”
People must know that what one thinks about is what determines where they are spiritually. Not surprisingly, the gedolim see yiras Shamayim even in the most mundane-seeming experiences.
Once, the Steipler, zt”l, was walking on his way to procure sechach for his sukkah near the Yarkon river. When he noticed plant life growing on the river, he excitedly called his son, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a. When he came running, the Steipler exclaimed, “This is what the halachah is referring to when it states that the green vegetation that propagates upon the water does not receive ritual impurity!”

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