April 14, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 14, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rabbi Meir of Premishlan would get up early each morning and make his way up the mountain next to his village to purify himself in the pool of water, at the summit. The townsfolk marveled at their elderly rabbi’s unbelievable ability to climb that mountain, even through the winter’s low temperatures and icy terrain. “Our rabbi is most certainly a miracle-worker,” they would say.

A couple of young men from a neighboring town heard about Rabbi Meir’s daily feat and scoffed at the attitude of the Premishlaners. Determined to demonstrate that Rabbi Meir’s walk up the mountain was not that big a deal, they decided to follow him up one morning. They set out with the rabbi, but could not seem to keep pace with him. They just kept slipping back down the mountain, while the 85-year-old appeared to sprint up it! Exasperated, they turned to him, demanding to know his secret. “When one is connected with above,” the rabbi responded, “one does not fall below.”

* * *

Today’s daf teaches the law that if a corpse is buried with no space between it and the tomb above, the impurity rises through the earth and continues all the way to the sky.

תַנְיָא וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע עַל פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה בַּחֲלַל חֶרֶב אוֹ בְמֵת אוֹ בְּקֶבֶר זֶה קֶבֶר סָתוּם, דְּאָמַר מָר טוּמְאָה בּוֹקַעַת וְעוֹלָה בּוֹקַעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶת

It was taught: “And whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by the sword, or one who dies on his own (or a bone of a man, or a grave shall be unclean seven days).” “Or a grave,” refers to a sealed grave, as the master said: “Impurity breaks through and ascends and breaks through and descends.”

In the world around us, sometimes, we see impurity breaking through and ascending. We see undeserving people rise to success. We scratch our heads at Heaven’s grand plan. But the Gemara tells us a secret: “what goes up must come down.” Even when we see “impurity break through and ascend,” rest assured that it will, eventually, come crashing down to “break through and descend.”

In contrast, purity defies gravity. Goodness can rise and rise without any fear of ever falling. As Rabbi of Meir of Premishlan declared, “when you are ‘connected to the above,’ you can rise to success, knowing that you are not bound by the constraints of this physical world. You can climb any mountain, rise above any challenge of life, because you are not weighed down by earthly powers.”

How do you connect to the above? By aligning your will with the Almighty’s will. By constantly asking yourself how your actions fit in with your divine mission. By placing your faith in God’s hand and trusting that no matter what mountain He sends your way, He has already given you the strength to scale its highest peaks.

What’s holding you back in your life? What’s impeding your ability to soar? We all believe in certain laws of nature by which we must abide. Like, gravity. But, gravity isn’t one of the 613 commandments. It’s not even in the American Constitution! You don’t need to keep the law of gravity that says that you must remain attached to the earth. When you have faith, God will raise you above the crowd and bring you success and prosperity, far surpassing whatever you feel you naturally deserve.

You are a divine being. You are not bound by the laws of nature. May you merit connecting with the above and defying the gravity that weighs and wears everyone else down in life!


Rabbi Dr. Daniel Friedman is the author of The Transformative Daf series and the founder of the Center for Torah Values. www.transformativedaf.com 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles