Friday, May 25, 2012

The Advice of the Tzitzis

A certain man heard that the Zohar calls the mitzvos six hundred and thirteen pieces of advice or “eitzos,” and couldn’t fathom what this implies. When he asked the Chidushei HaRim, zt”l, about this he explained that this reveals the greatness of every mitzvah. “This teaches that each and every mitzvah teaches us to overcome our natural state of being sunken in materialism. Through every mitzvah it is possible to attain wondrous elevation. This can be understood in light of the gemara in Menachos 44. There we find the story of a man whose tzitzis ‘hit him in the face.’ And eventually he became a true ba’al teshuvah…” In his last will and testament the Sifsei Tzaddik, zt”l, teaches how to access the guidance contained in mitzvos. “Accustom yourselves to approach every mitzvah as a precious commodity which should make you feel joy—much like a man who finds a fortune. Remember your smallness, and that despite this Hashem has chosen you to serve Him through this mitzvah. Even though He has myriads of angels to serve Him, he prefers the service of Yisrael, the people He has drawn close to Him. It is only fitting that you fulfill the verse, ‘One heart mirrors the other like a face is reflected in water,’ and value each opportunity by serving Hashem with your entire heart. “Every time you don your tallis, you should be filled with profound joy. We attain this by recalling the greatness of this mitzvah, which our Torah reveals gives us the ability to recall all the mitzvos. In Menachos we find that the tzitizis hit a man about to sin on the face and this caused him to ascend from the lowest depths to the highest heights. He felt like he was crushing his entire self by resisting his urge to sin, but in the end he merited a great illumination and became a complete tzaddik. “Every person should beg Hashem that the mitzvah of tzitzis should protect him and his offspring from plummeting into the darkness of this world. One who works on this will eventually feel a huge illumination in the mitzvah of tzitzis.”

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