(and loves us too but then the title would be a bit long. Sorry I couldn't resist :). But seriously, here is a beautiful insight from today's Hakhel email about why we age, bechira and H-shem renewing the world each moment.
Special Note One: At a recent Hakhel Shiur, Rabbi Moshe Weinberger, Shlita (Brooklyn) asked why it was that Moshe Rabbeinu, although 120 years old, did not suffer from weakness or even dimmed vision--why did he not age like everyone else? He explained in the name of HaRav Hutner, Z'tl, as follows: In actuality, none of us should really age because Hashem is recreating us as he recreates the world and everything and everybody in it every millisecond. We should really always stay young because we are always fresh and new. If we were to be immune to the effects of age, however, we would lose our bechira chofshis--our free will--because the only way of our explaining our recurring agelessness is by the Creator recreating us. How then could we ever, ever sin?! Hashem therefore placed the 'natural' progress of aging into the world so that we could do battle with the Yetzer Hora, as we allow ourselves to forget about the constant re-new-al of the world, and the incredible Yad Hashem in every fraction of time in world history. Moshe Rabbeinu, because of his closeness to Hashem, because he was as the Torah describes "Bechol Baisi Ne'eman Hu", did not need to be subjected to the ruse of aging. He truly lived in the real world--the world in which Hashem was the essential and integral part of every moment and every place. In the Bais Hamikdash, we likewise experienced the Lechem HaPonim which was baked on Erev Shabbos, put on the Shulchan on Shabbos afternoon about a day later while still piping hot, and removed and consumed a full eight days later--the next Shabbos--still piping hot! An unbelievable miracle? Not exactly, if you realize that in reality prepared food should stay piping hot as it is being re-heated every moment once baked or cooked. The Lechem HaPonim, then, like Moshe Rabbeinu represents a dugma, a sample of the *real* ever-renewing world. With this thought in mind, we can understand something about Teshuva as well. We each have the opportunity to be like Moshe Rabbeinu (see Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva who actually compares us to Moshe)--we each have the opportunity of rebirth, of rededication, of renewal, daily--because we are granted new life from moment to moment as well.
Knowing that Hashem is with us and infusing us with the miracle of life all the time will help us better appreciate the Pasuk in this week's Parsha which teaches--U'vo Sidbak--one should cleave to Hashem--the source of your constant renewal (Devorim 10:20). Certainly, the claim of "Kochi Veotzem Yodi--my own power and prowess brought me to my position in life (Devorim 8:17)--flies so in the face of the truth--of Hashem's reality--that it becomes absurd and smirkfully amusing.
The more that we feel Hashem always with us, renewing us and invigorating us, the more we will be able to instill the freshness and newness in the Mitzvos we perform that they so rightfully deserve. This Shemone Esrei is not the same as the last, this Daf or this Pasuk is a new opportunity, this restraint from Lashon Hora is not simply a repeat of my last bout with the Yetzer. Just as today's life is a new wardrobe, a new gift, a new treasure separate and beyond that of yesterday's, so too are today's acts of patience, kindness, perseverance, resolve and love a new step and level beyond that of yesterday's as well. This is the real world--the world of truth--the world of Moshe Rabbeinu, the world of Teshuva. Breath in and breath out and feel your Maker's renewal. Then, through your own actions throughout the day, do your part to make the renewal meaningful, worthwhile, inspired...and alive!
Don't Destroy the Trees!
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