Friday, August 05, 2011

Devarim 5631 Fourth Ma'amar

Many times we find ourselves in circumstances in which it is unclear what we must do.  What tool can we use to decide the correct course of action?  The Sfas Emes establishes a fundamental principle regarding lack of clarity.  The ultimate reality is God.  To God there is no such thing as a lack of clarity.  Any lack of clarity, therefore, is an illusion.  It is an external block preventing us from seeing clearly.  The way to gain clarity of vision is to remove the block.  Removing the block is essentially connecting with God.  And since God is everywhere and in everything, everything has the potential for clarity.  All that is necessary is to remove the block thus connecting with the Godliness in that which lacks clarity. 

How is this done?  We find a clue in this week’s parsha.  Referring to difficulties judges may have in rendering judgment, Moshe Rabbeinu tells the nation, “... וְהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יִקְשֶה מִכֶּם תַּקְרִבוּן אֵלַי וּשְׁמַעְתִּיו/… Bring to me that which is too difficult for you and I will hear it.” (Devarim 1:17)  The Kesser Shem Tov[1] gives this pasuk broader application according to the Ramban.  Although addressing the issue from the perspective of rendering judgment, the same principles apply to any situation that requires a decision.  Here, “תַּקְרִבוּן אֵלַי/bring it to me” alludes to and implies bringing the unclear thing to God since Moshe Rabbeinu is the quintessential tool for giving over God’s teaching. 

The Sfas Emes explains that bringing something close to God means connecting with the Godliness within the unclear thing.  How?  The Kesser Shem Tov explains according to the Ramban that one must remove any personal bias.  When our personal bias is no longer a factor and our entire motivation is only to know the will of God, we will see the truth and know what is required of us.

[1] Kesser Shem Tov 3a

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