A Guest Post by the Bray of Fundie
Mei HaShiloakh Parshas Ki Savo
I have been following Tzig's series, Learning or Working - What Some Rabbis say, with great interest as it is both a compelling societal “hock” and touches me personally on many levels. The Chernobyler shtikel he posted reminded me of a Torah I saw many years ago in מי השילוח . We are all familiar with the posuk before Matan Torah of כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגד לבני ישראל, and its famous Rashi: לנשים וע"ה בלשון רכה, להודיען שכר מצות ולא העונש, ולת"ח יגיד דברים הקשין כגידין. In this shtikel the Izhbitzer, ZY”A runs with the idea that הגדהimplies “tough talk” and says that it’s hard for the Kohen in the Miqdash, the full-time learner and עובד השם, see halokha yud/yud beis) to hear what his brother, the "Srulik Poyer" farmer has to say.
While K’lal Yisrael obviously needs both segments of society, the learners and the earners, the trick for those of us not learning and davening full time, but still getting our hands dirty in a post-agrarian, post-industrial society/economy is to still be מקדש the mud, not to be turned into it. I recall learning once (though the author and sefer escapes me now) that this sanctification of the mud, flesh and blood is the essential purpose of human existence altogether, i.e. to actualize the Torah in a material world. For the אורות and abstract concepts of the Torah in their pristine rukhniyus'dika purity alone the נשמה would have been better off remaining disembodied in the עולמות עליונים. Human life in עולם הזה is about transforming גשם into רוח and חומר into ,צורה and the neshoma can’t do that without a גוף and מצוות מעשיות. This is what I always think about whenever I hear the haunting evocative Nichoach melody .הנשמה יורדת לתוך הגוף
I thank the Tzig for this opportunity. A gutten Shabbos.