Thursday, April 14, 2005

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Illuminate your environment

Always something interesting relating to the spiritual direction in life in HaYom Yom, from Day to Day, for the 5th of Nisan...

(The 6th grand rabbi of Lubavitch hassidim notes a comment by his grandfather, the 4th grand rabbi...)

My grandfather commented on the saying, "The place of man does not honor him; rather man honors his place."

The term, Kavod, "honor," has two implications.

One is Kaveid, "liver," as the Torah says, "Pharaoh's heart is kaveid ("heavy"), and the Sages comment, "His heart became like a liver," (cold, insensitive).

The other meaning is Kavod, "honor," signifying the revelation of a supernal encompassing illumination.

"The place of man does not honor him": Place (and circumstances) do not make him cold and insensitive. Rather, "Man honors his place," man has the capacity and the power to illuminate his environment ("place") with the light of Torah and Avoda [divine service].

When the soul descends into the body, it is administered an oath to be a Tzadik [a righteous person, a 'saint'].

This oath, Sh'vua, implies Sova, "satiety"; the person is generously endowed with eminent powers to be able to fulfill G-d's intention in having the soul descend (into the material world). And just as it is with the soul's descent, so is it also with every person, in whatever place he may be.

(Just as the soul in general is endowed with powers to accomplish its purpose "below," so is every individual given the power and ability to illuminate his environment - the place in which he finds himself.)

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