Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reconnecting to the Source

Someone once asked the Ohr HaChaim Hakadosh, zt”l, a very painful question. “If someone fell and did a sin for which the punishment is kares, why should he continue to keep Torah law? After all, since he has uprooted his entire nefesh from Hashem, how can keeping Torah and mitzvos help him?”
The Ohr Hachaim explained that this man had a great misconception. “You should never think that if you did one evil act that is chayav kares—or even many such sins—that he has completely uprooted his nefesh from Hashem. This is a fallacy. Every Jew has many roots that extend on high, corresponding to all the mitzvos of the Torah. When he violates something which entails kares, this cuts him off only regarding the branch which relates to that mitzvah, not completely, chas v’shalom. So, of course, keeping Torah helps him regarding the rest of his nefesh even if he never does teshuvah.
“In addition, even if he has ripped out one spiritual limb’s connection through sin, there remains a trace of holiness which still extends to the kisei hakavod. It is incumbent on every Jew to teshuvah, thereby undoing the kares and restoring his connection to what it was before the sin.”
Rav Hirsch, zt”l, explains similarly regarding the blood of sacrifices poured on the foundation of the altar. “Kares entails uprooting oneself from his spiritual source. The foundation of the altar alludes to reconnecting to our foundation, to our fellow Jews and Toras Hashem. After bringing a sacrifice, we pour what remains of the blood on the foundation of the altar to symbolize a change of direction. We go from kares, chas v’shalom, to restoring our connection through teshuvah and resolving to change our ways in the future.”

1 comment:

Chaikie said...

this is such a beautiful and powerful message. That no matter what and no matter how far away we may feel, we are always connected to Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Thank you for giving over this message.