Wednesday, August 26, 2009

190 - Ki Seitzei

"When you go to war against your enemies. . ." (Devarim 21, 10). Rav Wolbe (Shiurei Chumash Parshas Matos) points out that we see from the war against the Midyanim the great orderliness that was present even in a time of war. There was an exact count of all the spoils - from the captives down to the different types of animals. There wasn't a free for all as we would have expected at a time of war.

Seder is an integral part of creation. We say in tefillas ma'ariv, "He orders the stars in their heavenly constellations as He wills." From the minutest building blocks of all matter, such as atoms and cells, to the huge celestial orbs, there is a meticulous order that defines all of creation. This order testifies to a will that governs the universe - the will of the Creator. This itself is one of the clearest proofs that there is a Creator. If there is order, then there must be Someone that established the order.

The same idea holds true for us in our small everyday world. When we see someone who is organized we know that he must have a strong desire that motivates that order. This applies not only to the mundane, but also in the spiritual arena. The first step in organizing one's spiritual life is an ironclad determination. The second step can also be gleaned from the work of the Creator. "Hashem established the earth with wisdom, formed the heavens with insight" (Mishlei 3, 19). Likewise, if we are to establish a seder for our spiritual growth in a way that will endure, it must be thought out and implemented with wisdom.

There are two basic questions that one must ask himself. "What is the goal I aim to reach in my avodas Hashem?" Once he has defined his goal clearly, he should ask himself, "At this point in time, what can I do to reach my objective?" Serious thought must be put into answering these two questions clearly and truthfully. The answers should form a basic vision for how he wishes his day to look. One should not demand too much from himself, but also not too little. The day should include ample time for sleeping, eating, resting and talking; however, there must be fixed times set aside for davening and learning. As Chazal tell us, the very first question they ask a person in the next world is, "Did you set aside a designated time for Torah learning?" Even one who spends his days learning, is asked if he set aside specific times for learning, because one accomplishes much more if the learning is done with a seder.

Making a defined order in our spiritual lives is a good step in our preparation toward the Yomim Noraim. So let's sit for a bit and think, "What do I want to achieve in my avodas Hashem?" After that we should take a pen and paper and make an outline of our day so that we can reach our objective. At the end of the day, this is what truly counts in life. (Alei Shur vol. II pg. 319)

No comments: