Tuesday, May 24, 2016

515 - Tetzaveh

Rav Wolbe (Da'as Shlomo) comments that one who is very particular about his clothing, will only buy a suit from a tailor. A suit tailored to their specific body sits better on them than a store bought suit. In this regard, the world of ruchniyus is no different from the material world. There are "ordinary" articles of spiritual clothing, and there are articles that are "hand tailored" to fit a person.

Rabbeinu Yonah writes (Sha'arei Teshuvah 1:10) that every person should be aware that, "Hashem has blown into my nostrils a living spirit, wisdom of the heart... to enable me... to fear Him." Why does Rabbeinu Yonah emphasize that the wisdom given to us is wisdom "of the heart?" The answer can be found in the menorah oil discussed in this week's parsha.

Parshas Tetzaveh commences with Hashem instructing Moshe to command Bnei Yisrael to prepare the purest olive oil for the lighting of the menorah. In Parshas Vayakhel (35:14) this unique oil is listed among the various components of the Mishkan whose preparation required the expertise of "wise hearted men." Rashi explains that this was so because this oil was different from all other oils. Only the ripest olives from the top of the tree were used, and only the very first drop squeezed from each olive qualified to be used as oil for the menorah.

Just as the oil of the menorah needed the expertise of "wise hearted" men because it differed from ordinary oil, so too, the fear of Hashem requires "wisdom of the heart" because it differs from ordinary fear. The Navi Yeshaya (29:13), relaying Hashem's castigation of Bnei Yisrael, declares, "Their fear of Me is like commands performed by rote." Indeed they feared Hashem, but their fear was robotic. They practiced their fear by rote as if was a standard item that one acquires in any store. Their fear was not tailored to fit their individuality.

So who is the tailor that can outfit a person with a perfect garb of yiras Shamayim? The tailor is the person himself! Each person for himself, after becoming cognizant of his specific set of virtues and deficiencies, can fashion a spiritual suit that should fit him like a glove. The wisdom required to achieve this goal cannot be found in a sefer. No two people are the same and no two situations are the same, and thus, the guidelines set down for Reuven will not work for Shimon. Rather, this knowledge can be found by each person in the wisdom of his heart.

Just because your neighbor eats in a specific restaurant doesn't mean that you should, and just because your friend dresses in a specific manner doesn't mean that you have to. The only place to look to the find the answers to what you should or should not be doing is in the mirror. Take a deep breath, smile, and define for yourself where you stand in the spiritual arena. This exercise will enable you to stop wearing borrowed clothing and begin enjoying the advantage of wearing a perfectly tailored suit!

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