Positive Vision - Day 12
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger
Our weekly excerpt from the book "Positive Vision"
Day 12 -
Elevation Through Separation -
Bringing Balance to the Bri’ah
Kedushah is that which brings harmony to Creation; it resolves the friction between the material and the spiritual.
We have to get just a bit mystical here and introduce two basic principles:
When Hashem created the world, He wished to have a dwelling place in the lower worlds. In other words, Hashem wished to sanctify a base, physical world.
There is a concept of nitzotzos hakedushah, sparks of holiness, that are scattered in this world, which the tzaddik “gathers.”
Let’s explain the second concept first. Simply, one would think that every thing in the world would seem to be good, bad, or in-between.
For example, let’s discuss food. There are some foods that are a mitzvah to eat (e.g., matzah on Pesach); others that are an aveirah to eat (nonkosher food); and everything else falls in between. A kosher slice of pizza, for instance, is not good or bad; it’s simply pizza.
But the sefarim say that this not quite true.
That slice of pizza will become either good or bad depending on why you eat it. If you eat pizza just because it’s there, then it reinforces your material being, and it actually makes you more base. It becomes bad. But if you eat it because you wish to derive energy from it to serve Hashem, then it becomes good. It becomes a vital part of your service of Hashem. It becomes holy. By doing this you have “captured” its spark of holiness, and ignited it so that it becomes enveloped in a flame of kedushah. You have brought sanctity into this world and fulfilled Hashem’s wish expressed in the first concept, to inhabit a physical and base world.
Our bodies are like that slice of pizza. When we refrain from doing an aveirah, when we use our body for holiness, to perform mitzvos, to help our fellow man, to foster a relationship with our spouse, we sanctify it. When we use our body, and this world as a whole, to serve Hashem, when we refrain from that which appeals to our animal instinct, we make it a dwelling place for Hashem.
We resolve the conflict - the tension between our guf, our body, and our neshamah - and we are at peace.
Kedushah begins with separation from the world of nature, but ends with sanctification, and the whole world becomes holy because of our actions.
It becomes a place where Hashem wishes to reside.
”By elevating myself above my base nature,
I am elevating nature as a whole; the entire world
then becomes more kadosh and a place for
the Shechinah to reside."