web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 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
Student at Har Etzion Yeshiva reads announcement of the death of Rabbi Lichtenstein.
Thousands Mourn Rabbi Lichtenstein
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah scroll. (illustrative only)

For humans, reducing flesh is generally a good thing whereas its expansion is generally a bad thing

Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

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: