For everything in this world there is a kosher equivalent. There was a great Rabbi whose wife said she wanted milk and meat together. A normal reaction of a husband who hears that would be outrage, to think Chas V’ Shalom what happened to her? How could she think such a thing? But the Rabbi didn’t react that way, instead he went and asked for a cow’s udder. Now she was able to have milk and meat together in a kosher way.
Hashem wants us to have pleasure and enjoy from this world. There are several chazals that prove this.
- A Nazir brings a Karbon Chatas because he sinned by not enjoying pleasure in this world, the wine.
- If I were to ask you what the first commandment is, you would say it’s when Hashem tells Adam not to eat from the Eitz Hadas. But really that’s not the first commandment. If you look at the posuk it says Hashem commanded Adam to eat.
- Hashem showed Adam and Chava the beautiful world.
If a person doesn’t partake in the pleasures of this world then they have no gratitude. If a person enjoys pleasures of this world then they will be a happier person and easy to get along with.
However, there is a flip side. The more we have pleasure the less we enjoy it. Think of your favorite food, the first time you eat it, it’s like heaven on earth. But if you were to have that food every day then you wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I believe that’s why Hashem gave us boundaries, that’s why there are the Halachos of Nidah, so that it stays a special thing.
Think of this scenario, you are in the freezing cold for 3 1/2 hours, where there is only 25 minutes of action, where you have people standing up in front of you when something happens thereby not allowing you to see anything, where you have to pay for food and there are inaccessible unsanitary bathrooms. It doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience.
Then picture this scenario, you are sitting on your living room couch in front of a Plasma screen TV with the football game on, where you are in the warmth of your own house, where you can see the whole game clearly, where you get any food you want, where the bathroom is available to you and clean. Now this sounds like a pleasant experience.
Now if you ask a person why they would rather go to a football game than watch the game in the living room, they will say they go for the experience of being part of a large group. During the football game the people will cheer to “J-E-T-S” or whichever team they are going for, this is to remind them that they are part of the group. They will also do the “wave” for the same reason.
If you open a cookbook and take a look at a recipe, you won’t see it saying to take a steak and cook it, rather you will see lists of ingredients that you combine to form a recipe.
→ At this time I would like to point out that A Mother In Israel started a relatively new blog, called Cooking Manager with great tips on cooking. Leora has a great collection of recipes as does Ilana Davita a great collection of recipes.
Same with music, there are various notes, voices and instruments that are combined together to form a beautiful harmony.
When two people love each other, you have two bodies with one soul.
The essence of all these examples, is unity.
People who are patriotic for their country, do it because they want to feel the unity. Being a part of something gives us pleasure. I will take this time to point out that being a blogger is also an example of being part of a whole – the blogosphere, and it gives me great pleasure to be a part of such a great thing.
→ Mike In Midwood has a great creative post called Chaim Snyder which is a great example for two of the points made so far. The first being there is a Kosher version of everything, hence the post is about Chaim Snyder being the Kosher version of Harry Potter. The second being people like to be part of a large group, since lots of people have read/watched Harry Potter, other people want to also, because then they belong to the group of Harry Potter readers/watchers/fans.
The Torah starts with the letter Bais, it has two pointers, one points up to Hashem who created us. The second points down, to before the creation of people where there was oneness. With the creation of people there became Bais, “twoness”, where we feel a separation from the Aleph, Hashem. As a correction we try to seek pleasure with Hashem.
There is a pleasure we get from putting together a puzzle, where we are building something. All pleasure if used in the right way can lead us in the direction of unity with Hashem. The more we experience unity, we get closer to Hashem.
We all know the famous story, where a man came to Hillel and asked to him to explain to him the Torah on one foot. Hillel said “What is hateful to you, don’t to unto your friend, and the rest is commentary”. Now how can we explain this?
There are 3 categories of a friend. 1- Hashem: Yedid Nefesh. 2- Fellow Jew. 3- Neshama- our closes friend. The Torah is all about those 3 types of friends.
The purpose of the world is for a person to become similar to Hashem – Tzelem Elokim, so the Torah tells us how.
When you think to yourself “What do I want”, the I could mean different things. In the highest scenario, it would play out like this:
I = body and soul, friends and family, and all of the Jewish People.
This is where all the pleasures come together. The pleasure for yourself and others is the essence of Torah, unity, to bridge with others.
It says on “that day” Hashem will be one and His name will be one. Now why does it need to say both? Because now we read Hashem’s name differently from the way it is written. At “that time” Hashem’s name will be read the way it is written. The reason we read it differently now, is because we don’t see what we know, we don’t see Hashem clearly.
To recap, we are supposed to have pleasure in this world. We like to feel unity. This leads us to be closer with Hashem. Therefore, every time we do an action we should see if it will bring unity or not.
FYI: These shiurim are part of the Irgun Shiurai Torah program. If you look to your left you will see the schedule posted onto the sidebar, click the image to expand.