The ultimate Le'chayim

No matter how far a person has fallen in his observance of Torah and Mitzvot, there is always a way back- a life-line.

Danny Ginsbourg ,

Danny Ginsbourg
Danny Ginsbourg

We read in the coming Shabbat's Parasha(4:1-4)

Now, O Israel, listen to the decrees and to the ordinances that I teach you so that you live and inherit the Land..You shall not add..nor shall you subtract from it, to observe the commandments of Hashem, your G-d..

אתם הדבקים בה׳ אלקיכם חיים כלכם היום: But you who cling to Hashem, your G-d- you are all alive today’.

The Shelah Hakadosh comments:’The concluding words of this passage, cover the whole of the Torah and the deeds and the attributes of man: he should cling to Hashem for His Name in all that he does- even when engaged in his daily mundane activities, he should at all times be דבק: clinging to Hashem.

‘When engaged in business activities, for example, he should have in mind that he is doing so, so that he can perform the Mitzvah of supporting his family, so that they should all be able to serve Hashem.

‘Similarly, when he eats or goes to sleep, his intention should be that his body be strong enough, to be able to learn Torah and to perform Mitzvot.

‘In this way, all the days of his life, he is always דבוק: clinging to Hashem, if he goes in this way, and is זוכה to eternal ‘clinging to Hashem’’.

The Maharal adds:’Learning Torah, brings one to this דבקות, as we read (Ps’ 19:8)’The Torah of Hashem תמימה: is perfect, it restores the soul’.

‘Therefore, one who engages in studying it, becomes תמים, and as a result, he is wholly ‘with’ Hashem.

‘Our Sages find an allusion to this in the passuk:’תמים תהיה עם ה’: whole-hearted shall you be with Hashem’, expounding it as:’If you are whole-hearted, you are with Hashem’.

‘And it says:’You who cling to Hashem are all alive’: from clinging to Hashem, you are alive; and it is therefore written:’The Torah of Hashem is perfect, restoring the soul’’.

The Dubner Magid brings a משל: an allegory, to deepen our understanding, defining דבק in its more common meaning of ‘glue’, rather than ‘clinging’.

‘He expounds:’There are two types of ‘gluing’: One is when you wish to glue two identical pieces of timber, to each other; as they are ‘identical’, they readily adhere to each other.

‘The second situation, is where you want to assemble two disparate pieces of timber together, say a portable bed; in this case, they cannot be ‘glued’ together, without first making adjustments to them, so that they can adhere to each other.

‘This alludes to ‘adhering’ to Hashem: When the person is ‘fully aligned’, כביכול, with Hashem, by fully observing His Torah and Mitzvot, he is truly ‘with Hashem’; however, if, רחמנא לצלן, the person is ‘crooked’, since Hashek is צדיק וישר: righteous and ‘straight’, the person needs to ‘straighten’ himself, before he can truly ‘cling’ to - and ‘be with -‘Hashem’’.

The Mezerich Magid offers the following insight:’The תכלית: ‘aim’ of the entire Torah, and of all the Mitzvot, is to bring man to דביקות: ‘clinging’ to Hashem.

‘Every Mitzvah that a Jew performs, brings him to closeness, to התחברות: ‘connection’ to Hashem- and only through them, can ‘physical’ beings ‘cling’ to Hashem’.

The Netivot Shalom, who brings this teaching, asks:’Since ‘clinging’ to Hashem is such a lofty status, which few can truly achieve, what of the ‘common’ man?

’Since our passuk teaches that only those who ‘cling to Hashem, are alive’, what is he to do?

‘More so, as the Torah commands us to do so, it obligates every Jew!

‘The answer is, that every Mitzvah one performs, brings him to cling to Hashem, and thereby fulfills the obligation,

‘Our Sages bring the parable of one who has been cast into the sea, and one of the crew of a passing ship, throws him a life-line, telling him: so long as you hang on to this rope, you will remain alive.

‘This is allegorical to our own situation: No matter how far a person has fallen in his observance of Torah and Mitzvot, there is always a way back- a life-line- if he clings to the Source of life, to Hashem; even in the most difficult situations, he can ‘live’, by ‘connecting’ to Hashem, the source of Life’.

The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh expounds that our passuk should be read together with a later passuk in our Parasha:(5:23) in which Hashem is referred to as אלקים חיים: ‘The living G-d’.

‘Thus, since He is the source of Life, those who cling to Him, ‘live’- אתם הדבקים בה׳ חיים’.

Concludes the Sage:’This was the חידוש: the new teaching, that Moshe Rabenu here taught Bnei Israel: You are alive, because you are connected to the source of life, Hakadosh Baruch Hu’.

Rav Elya Lopian adds:’Every Mitzvah that a Jew performs, ‘plants’ a seed, from which grows a wondrous tree, that bears a holy fruit: הדבקות בה׳: the ‘clinging’ to Hashem’.

A final pearl from Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl:’To the best of our limited understanding, Hashem created this world, and all in it, because of His love of חסד, loving kindness: thus, He created man, so that He could do חסד for him.

‘It follows, that any person who does not do חסד, ‘abandons’ the main manner in which Hashem chose to reveal Himself, to us- and, thereby ‘disconnects’ himself from the Heavenly source from which his soul descended, to this earth.

‘He has thereby, by his own hand, caused that he is, כביכול, no longer ‘alive’, since only those who are ‘connected’ to Hashem- the source of life- are truly alive, as our passuk clearly states!’

לרפואת נועם עליזה בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו,