Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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The Shirt is Not Dirty

by Reb Gutman


     If you get mud on a brand new, white shirt, we say that the shirt is dirty. It would be more precise to say, “There is dirt on the clean shirt.” The shirt is still the same white shirt it was before the mud got on it. What’s the point?

     When someone allows their animal inclination to drag their holy soul into a pit of dirt, we say that the soul is dirty, or even blemished. But this is not really true. The soul is still the same pure holy soul that it was, but now it has been covered with an unclean garment, or with a fog. From the outside it does look like the soul has gotten darker, and from the inside it might even feel like the soul is darker, but the fact is, the soul is still the same pure holy portion of Hashem on High that it was before it was dragged into the pit.

     But, even worse, now that the soul has been dragged into the dirt, and has been covered over with a dark fog, it becomes even easier for the animal inclination to drag it into the dirt again, and then again. Things do look dark. What hope is there?

     When we do a mitzvah, no matter which mitzvah, a holy wind comes and blows away some of the fog that is covering the soul. Whew! Now it is easier to see out into the holiness that can be found in the world.

     Now, the holy soul tries to convince the animal inclination to behave itself, but it is up to the person which inclination is going to rule. If the Jew chooses to do another mitzvah, another cool breeze will sweep away more of the dark fog. Nice! And then again, and again, until the breeze blows away all of the fog that was covering the soul, and the pure soul radiates its holiness throughout the entire body.

     Think about this when you do your next mitzvah, and be open to the clean, cool breeze it brings. Thinking about the holy breeze allows it to blow away even more of the fog.

     “The soul You have given within me is pure…”[i]

[i] Early morning prayer

1 comment:

  1. WONDERFUL POST! Truly a wonderful post! Thank you.


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