Sunday, November 13, 2011

Every little thing we do - matters.

Once upon a time, the Baal Shem Tov sent a group of his students on an important mission in another town. When they returned, he was not so interested in hearing about their mission as about the minutiae of their trip—what they ate, where the slept, how they traveled, etc.
They didn't understand the relevance of these details, but he insisted on hearing everything. When they related that one morning they sat down near a brook and drank some water there, the Baal Shem tov's face lit up and he said, "That water was waiting from the beginning of time for someone to come and make a blessing over it and drink it."
In Jewish mystical thought, space, time, and matter are understood to be forces of Divine energy—sparks which fell down to earth at the time of creation and which became embedded in all aspects of existence; these sparks must be elevated in holiness for the world to achieve perfection as per the Divine plan. This is why the little things you do in life are sometimes more important than the big things—the journey is sometimes as or more important than the final destination.
When we go to work or anywhere, let's take a moment to appreciate how we got there. Every second of our trip matters—the people we meet on the way, the cup of coffee we drink, the piece of paper we throw in the trashcan—all matter.
Quite often the things that are seemingly beyond our control are really opportunities to elevate sparks of Divine energy trapped in the mundane, and by doing so, to spiritual'ize the material.
It's a deeper way of looking at the world. And when we begin looking at life this way, a whole new world will be revealed to us—a G-dly world, an immortal world, the real world.
Every little thing we do - matters.

Prophet Elisha with poor widow.....oil.....vessels....

In Yesterday's haftora we read the story of A poor woman who cried to the Prophet Elisha, that her husband died and now the creditor has come to take her two sons as slaves.
So Elisha asked her what she has in her house. She
answered: 'Nothing, but a cruse of oil.'

"He said, 'Go borrow empty vessels and pour this oil into all these vessels.

A woman cries out about her husband's death—it's the death of her divine spark." My soul has become apathetic to any deeper, spiritual reality of life. And the creditor has come to take my two sons as slaves."

The sons are our emotions. My soul is dead, and my emotions have been enslaved.

"Said Elisha to her: what have you in your home?' Meaning, You must search within yourself for the answer to your crisis. The answer to human pain must ultimately come from man himself.

"I have nothing," the woman cries. "There is nothing left of my soul. I am spiritually and emotionally dead." But I do have something, a cruse of oil.

Oil, represents the core of cores of human identity. This core—the essence of human dignity—is the "cruse of oil" that could never be taken from you.

Your emotions may be faint and your soul may be dead, but your "cruse of oil" is always there. That part of your life that stands face to face with G-d's essence — essence to essence — never dies.

The prophet Elisha says "Go borrow empty vessels and pour the oil into all these vessels.'"

Empty and borrowed vessels is a metaphor for uninspired robot-like actions that are empty of passion and enthusiasm, actions which we could never call "our own" since our heart and soul are not present in these actions.

So the prophet says, Just perform G-dly deeds, even if they seem borrowed and empty to you.

When we don't feel G-d; we feel our mitzvot are hollow and empty acts, we are to remmeber that we do have a cruse of oil and we ARE capable of filling our lives with empty vessels with a schedule saturated with meaningful acts.