by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
(This Tuesday is Tu B'Shevat-The New Year for Trees. It is a custom to pray on this day that when the holiday of Succot comes, you will be merited to have a beautiful esgrog.)
What is the spiritual realm? The spiritual is always right here, permeating all. But it is so unique that it goes unnoticed, or it seems to be an entirely different realm of existence. As unique as it is, still, it is simply a higher perspective of the one creation. How do we begin to access the spiritual?
One way is to recognize that there are different degrees of holiness. This will help to move your thinking up toward spiritual awareness. Start with the straps of the tefillin. They themselves are holy and require special care. However, they are there only to secure the tefillin boxes on our head and arm, so the tefillin boxes have a higher degree of holiness than their straps.
The boxes are holy, but they are used only to house the parchments. So the parchments have a higher degree of holiness than their boxes.
The parchments are holy, but they are there only to provide a place for the letters that are written on them. So the letters on the parchments are more holy than the parchments.
What is so special about these letters? First, there is the form of the letters. The form is so unique that if even a tiny drop of a single letter would be improper, the tefillin would be unfit.
The shape of the letter is so very precise and essential, yet the letters are there only to give us an idea. So the ideas that the tefillin teach are even more holy than the letters.
When we learn these ideas, we can then fulfill the real purpose of the tefillin. We can do what G-d commanded us to do when He commanded us to put on tefillin. When we do what G-d commanded us to do, we become spiritually elevated, and this is the actual purpose of the Torah. So the deed is even more holy than the idea.
Doing the deeds that the Torah commands brings us up in spiritual merit, and, if done properly, this will increase our spiritual awareness.
This level of spiritual awareness is attainable by everyone.
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BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא