Monday, November 7, 2011

297 - Bereishis

The bracha recited daily, "Blessed are you Hashem . . . Who clothes the naked" refers to the clothing that Hashem tailored for Adom and Chava after they ate from the eitz hada'as and became cognizant of their nakedness. However, before they transgressed Hashem's commandment, they were not embarrassed despite their lack of clothing. Rav Wolbe's insightful explanation (Shiurei Chumash) aids us in understanding this idea.

When Adom was created, his very essence was his neshama (soul). The physical body was created merely as "clothing" for the neshama. (Rav Elya Lopian would refer to the body as "pants of flesh"). Hence, his lack of material clothing was no reason for embarrassment since he had a physical body that served that very purpose. Once Adom sinned, he altered his very makeup and his essence became a mixture of both body and soul. The physical body no longer clothed Adom; rather, it became part and parcel of his being and, therefore, required its own covering. It was at this point that Hashem prepared clothing for Adom and Chava.

Rav Wolbe continues that we identify ourselves as, and associate ourselves with, our physical bodies. Though we are made up of both "guf" and "neshama," it is much easier for us to relate to the bracha of "asher yatzar" than to the bracha of "Elokai neshama." To the question, "Who are you?" most people would give an answer that describes their physical appearance and/or occupation, while completely overlooking the spiritual aspect of exactly who they are. This is one of the side-effects of human sin.

Despite this confusion, it is incumbent upon us to familiarize ourselves with our neshama. Who are you really? In what areas of avodas Hashem do you connect significantly with Hashem Yisborach? What are your weaknesses, and, more importantly, what are your strengths? Make an appointment with yourself and get to really know yourself. "You" are the most interesting person that you will ever meet. Moreover, with a solid understanding of your spiritual makeup, your avodas Hashem has the potential to improve greatly!

Piska Tava!

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