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Friday, January 7, 2011

Tipat Likutei Halachos: Individuality and Avodas Hashem

ליקוטי הלכות: הלכות תפילת מנחה, הלכה ז:יד

Even though all the Jews are considered to be like one person, because their roots are in one [source], regardless of that fact every individual Jew has his bounds and contraction within himself when it comes to serving Hashem.  This is such because the knowledge of one person is different than another, and everyone has his own measure within his heart according to his own level, as in the posuk, "Her husband is known in the gates (נודע בשערים בעלה)" - everyone has his own assumptions (משער) about himself in his heart.  Furthermore, everyone serves Hashem according to his good traits: he has this trait, and another has that trait; he is careful in this mitzvah, and another is careful in that mitzvah.  And, even though one must certainly accept the good points of another Jew, one shouldn't overstep his bounds, that is he shouldn't get excited by another Jew's avodah or trait and try to be exactly like him.  Sometimes, a good Jew can overstep his bounds and cause another to fall from his level and change his understanding.  Therefore, one must be cautious, and on that note not overstep his bounds because he may harm his own level, Heaven forbid.  Similarly, he shouldn't destroy the boundaries set between himself and another.  And, this is like the Bais HaMikdash where all the Jews would enter together as one person, and everyone would be able to stand in his space as in, "they stood crowded together, but they could all bow and had space."  They could all stand there together and no one heard the confessions and prayers of another, as Rabbeinu said, because everyone must return to Hashem according to his own level (הלכות תפילת מנחה, הלכה ז:יד). 

It's so important to realize, especially in the frum world (atleast in the States) where this sometimes becomes a problem or really upsets people, that Hashem created every single person with his own talents, abilities, interests, and styles.  Although the Torah wants us to live our lives according to its precepts and to be respectable, I don't think that it demands more than that.  In the frum world people feel so much pressure to be like one another in dress, in how we do the avodah, and in matters of gashmiyus. 

Hashem doesn't want Chezi to be like Yankel or Simcha.  If that were the case he would have made an identical clone of the latter individuals.  Hashem wants us to live our lives on His terms and on our terms.  Another's terms are not included in that.  As long as we stay within the confines of Halacha, Torah, and what's generally accepted by the klal, explore your life! Grow in your own terms and not in another's, because until you know how much potential YOU have, you can never truly know yourself or Kadosh Baruch Hu.  Just as there was space in the Bais HaMikdash for EVERYONE, there is space for you to stretch out and learn about who you are and Hashem's Torah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How appropriate, since tonight is the yarzheit of Reb Zusia, who was well known for saying that "In the next world, they won't ask me why I wasn't Moshe. They will ask me why I wasn't Reb Zusia."