eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.
THE PARABLES OF THE BEN ISH CHAI
Some people consider themselves “unworthy” to study the holy Torah. The following parable proves that the Torah welcomes every member of Klal Yisrael to study and follow her ways.
A wealthy man moved to a new county where he did not know a soul. He needed to open a bank account, but he did not know which bank was trustworthy. That very day he met a man who worked for – and highly recommended – a certain bank.
However, being unfamiliar with this foreign country, the wealthy man expressed his reservations. “You have nothing to worry about,” said his new acquaintance, “the reputation of this bank speaks for itself!” The man was not convinced, “What do you mean?” he asked. “This is the fastest growing bank in the country. Here, look at this report,” he said, “In the past two months, 200 new accounts have been opened! This popularity patently demonstrates that our bank is reliable and efficient.”
In the same way that the popularity of the bank proved its worthiness, so too, the fact that the entire Klal Yisrael accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, proves that the Torah is the perfect path for every type of Jew. HaShem chose to give the Torah to the generation who left Egypt who — because of their life in bondage – were on a low spiritual level. Although they were far from the ways of the holy Torah, nevertheless, they were capable of living and sanctifying themselves through the Torah. Indeed there was not one member of the entire multitude of well over 600,000 men, women, and children who did not accept the Torah.
However, if HaShem would have given the Torah to our Patriarchs — Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov – some of us might have assumed that the Torah is only for individuals who are on the high spiritual level of the Avos. Whereas, the unanimous acceptance of the Torah by the spiritually disadvantaged generation that went out from Egypt proves that a Torah life is appropriate for every Jew. No matter what spiritual background they come from, the Torah will elevate them to the highest levels of goodness and purity.
TODAY: Reflect on the fact that you are worthy and capable of living a life devoted to Torah.
By Rabbi Zvi Miller.
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Source: Salant Foundation.