web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Learning To Enjoy This World


The-Shmuz

“And He does kindness to thousands of generations, to those who He loves and those who guard His mitzvos.” – Shemos 20:6

In the Aseres Ha’Dibros we are told Hashem pays back the wicked for four generations and the righteous for two thousand generations. Rashi explains the ratio of two thousand to four comes out to be five hundred to one. This teaches us the measure of good to bad in the world is five hundred to one.

This Rashi is very difficult to understand. If the Torah is teaching us Hashem created the world with an operating principle that the good outweighs the bad by a measure of five hundred to one, this doesn’t seem to be consistent with reality.

Granted, life is good – but can anyone say the “pleasures” outweigh the “pains” five hundred to one? Five hundred to one means the rough spots in life are so overshadowed by the enormity of good that they are almost nonexistent. For every headache I endure, I enjoy five hundred times the pleasure. For every stomach cramp I suffer through, I benefit from five hundred measures of delight. The problem is this just isn’t the way life is. How do we reconcile this Rashi with reality?

A Perspective on Pleasure

If we study the world, we find many features that have no functional purpose; if the world were created strictly from a practical standpoint, they would not be there. For example: tastes in food. Food is something we need to maintain our energy levels and health. If its only function were nutrition and nothing more, then all food should be taste like soggy cardboard. Yet it doesn’t. There are so many variations, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and aroma.

Why did Hashem create food this way? Why not make it all same? The reason is for our pleasure – so that eating, which we have to do, shouldn’t be a chore but in fact be delightful. Taste is something Hashem added solely for our benefit – for us to enjoy.

An awful lot of thought went into creating the different foods we eat. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, described an orange: When you peel it, you find wedges inside. If you look closely, each of these wedges is surrounded by a thin membrane. When you pull back the membrane, you see many tiny sacs. Inside each of those sacs is the juice of the orange. Why did Hashem created an orange in that manner, with thousands of little sacs? So that when you bite into the orange, the taste is released in a burst of flavor.

Hashem created those sacs so that there would be another dimension to our enjoyment. The sensation of eating an orange would be different without this feature. It still would have tasted delicious, but this is an additional aspect Hashem wanted us to enjoy, so He designed the orange that way.

Did you ever wonder why apples are red on the outside? Hashem made apples red because it is nicer to look at, and that makes the process of eating an apple more pleasing. The presentation adds much to the enjoyment of the dish. So Hashem designed foods to have eye appeal to enhance our experience of eating.

What happens when you bite into an apple? You don’t get that burst of flavor you got when you bit into an orange. You get a crunch. Why is that? Why not design all fruit the same? The reason an apple is crunchy is because it is fun to crunch on food. So when Hashem made apples, He designed the cells to form hard walls, so that when we bite into it, we get that crunch. It didn’t have to be that way. It was designed that way so we should enjoy it.

What about aroma? Each of the assorted foods not only has varied tastes and textures but markedly different smells, which contribute to our total enjoyment. When Hashem created food, He added this dimension of wonderful aromas to even further enhance our taste experience.

The food we eat comes in so many assorted flavors and textures, each one appealing to a different element of our tastes. Hashem re-planned and created all of this for us to enjoy.

And this is but one example of countless of features Hashem created strictly for our enjoyment. Hashem created, sights, sounds, textures, colors, depth and so many other features in this glorious world so that our experience here should be more pleasure filled. If the world was created for practical reasons only, all of this wouldn’t have to be. But Hashem put it all here, for us to enjoy.

Yet how often do we actually take the time to enjoy the foods we eat? How much attention do we pay to the sights we see? It takes training and concentration to consciously enjoy the life we lead. If we do, we will see a tremendous amount of detail and concern put in for our benefit. And we will see a tremendous demonstration of the kindness Hashem shows to man.

About the Author: Rabbi Shafier is the founder of TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz is an engaging, motivating shiur that deals with real life issues. All of the Shmuzin are available free of charge at www.TheShmuz.com or on the Shmuz App for iphone or Android.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Learning To Enjoy This World”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Survivors in Auschwitz.
Auschwitz Provides Tourists with Outdoor Showers to ‘Cool Down’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier
Shmuz-logo-NEW

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

Shmuz-logo-NEW

Everything you see – from the flower to the bee, from the oceans to the mountains, rivers, planets, the sun, the moon and the stars – all just sort of happened.

“When Hashem…will broaden your boundary as He spoke to you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ for you will have a desire to eat meat, to your heart’s entire desire you may eat meat.” – Devarim 12:20   For forty years in the midbar the Jewish people ate mon. Guided by Moshe Rabbeinu, engaged […]

The farmer understands he didn’t bring the rain. It wasn’t his acumen that stopped the pestilence.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

We are affected by our environment. Our perspective on the world is affected by what those around us do.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/learning-to-enjoy-this-world/2012/02/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: