web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Way To Cling

PTI-082214

In Parshas Re’eh, we have the mitzvah of “Uvo Tidbakun – and to Him you shall cleave” (13:5)

How does one cling to Hashem? Rashi quotes the Gemara (Sotah 14a) that asks: Is it possible to follow G-d who is infinite? The Gemara explains that cleaving means you shall emulate Hashem’s qualities – just as Hashem clothed Adam and Chava, so too we should ensure people have clothes to wear. Just as Hashem visited Avraham Avinu when he was sick after his bris milah, so too we should visit the sick.  The way to cleave to Hashem is by incorporating the characteristics of the Almighty in our daily life, to act with compassion and to care for others.

Why does Rashi use this Gemara to explain this mitzvah of clinging to Hashem when clearly the Gemara is talking about the mitzvah of following Hashem?  Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l (late Rosh Yeshiva and founder of Beis Medrash Govoha – Lakewood Yeshiva) explains that Rashi is giving us an entirely new perspective on caring for others.  “Kirvas Elokim li Tov – Closeness to G-d is what’s good for me,” says Dovid HaMelech.

Think about it. Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that? Initially, we might think of tefillah or Torah study, which is true.  When it comes to chesed, we view it as a very important mitzvah, but not a mitzvah that unites us with Hashem Himself, as Torah and tefillah help us do.  Yet, from this Rashi, we see that simple mundane acts of caring for others constitutes clinging to Hashem… literally.  Even small talk that makes a person feel important and cared for, picking up an item at a supermarket for your neighbor, visiting the sick or listening to what’s bothering someone – all of these are clinging to Hashem Himself, just as much as Torah and tefillah. This is precisely why Rashi quotes this Gemara on the mitzvah of clinging to Hashem, because by performing the mitzvah of following in Hashem’s ways, we are then clinging to Him.

As we are now entering the month of Elul, I am reminded of a story.

It was the eve of Yom Kippur. The whole town was in shul.  The Rav concluded his impassioned plea for everyone to do teshuva, and the Chazzan was ready to start Kol Nidrei.

Unexpectedly, the Rav turned to his shamash and says, “Come with me.” They left shul and walked until they reached a home at the far end of town. The Rav knocked on the door.

A weak and ill-looking 12 year-old girl answered the door.

“How do you feel?” asked the Rav.

“I feel weak,” said the girl.

Refuah Shleimah. I want to wish you a Gmar Chasima Tova.  Tell me… did you get a new dress for Yom Tov?” asked the Rav.

“I did, but my weakness is so on my mind I can’t focus on the dress,” replied the girl.

“Can you tell me what your dress looks like?” asked the Rav.  “Well, it’s pink and has ribbons on the sleeves …” The girl continued to describe the dress in great detail. Incredibly, the girl’s spirits seemed to perk up, and color started coming back to her cheeks.  “I can even show it to you,” added the girl.  She then ran to get the dress and showed it to the Rav. At this point, the girl looked healthy and well.

“It’s beautiful… the perfect Yom Tov dress!  I want to wish you a sweet year,” and with that the Rav left back to shul.

Small talk. Showing interest.   A little chesed. That’s cleaving to Hashem.

About the Author: Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is Associate Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute, Passaic, NJ.


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 “The Way To Cling”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
Latest Judaism Stories
17th_of_Tammuz_(medium)_(english)

17th of Tammuz: Beginning 3 weeks of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

More Articles from Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

PTI-logo-NEW

This is a recurring theme in this week’s parsha, in which there are many mistakes made based on perception.

People love their GPS; just type in the address and it tells you exactly how to get to where you want to go.

There is one day of the year on which the Satan has no power: Yom Kippur.

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we can relate to this: whenever we feel distant from Hashem, that is the Churban.

Life is what you make of it. And if our lives are defined by Torah, then these weeks of Sefira are all about making the most of it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-way-to-cling/2014/08/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: