Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  The Living Law
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayechi

What a Stone!

The toddler is joyfully playing with his new toy.

It is a shiny stone that he has mischievously picked up from the floor. And with a smile radiating upon his cute face, the child happily lets it fall onto the ground. And then with a glint in his eye, he flicks it across the room.

The object in question is, in actual fact, a priceless gem.

An elegant and rare antique dating back several centuries, its exquisite craftsmanship renders it a treasured heirloom.

But the toddler is blissfully oblivious to all this. In his eyes, this round object is a plain, shiny marble – something to nonchalantly roll and play with.

No one can fault the toddler for his ignorance. How could the young child have any knowledge of the stone’s historic origins? Could his immature mind ever grasp the notion that this stone might to be anything other than a plaything? He is unable to marvel at its polished surface or appreciate its radiance. Nor has he any inkling that this bright object might behold a higher, more sublime purpose.

Only an informed adult can register the travesty of how all the child sees is a marble rather than a magnificent jewel.


The principal investigation of a Jew is a quest for the meaning of Jewish living.

An appraisal of shemiras hamitzvos, mitzvah observance leads a Jew to the amazing discovery concerning the ancient code for living imprinted within the Torah. Despite being denigrated by some as a child’s plaything, a marble, it is anything but that.

Really, it is a dazzling and cherished gemstone. It is a precious stone of immeasurable value.

This urges us to devote more than just a fleeting superficial assessment to pass judgment on a system that has existed for millennia. He cannot afford to make the mistake of a toddler and to instantaneously dismiss the claim that the “stone” is an ancient heirloom, one that is divine in origin.

The Torah is a priceless legacy, a treasure exclusively bequeathed to the Jewish people at Sinai for posterity, to uphold and delight in its values and laws.

This realization propels the Jew to lovingly delve into their heritage and pursue the depth of the commandments and to conduct extensive research into their meaning.

It is shemiras hamitzvos, mitzvah observance which defines a Jewish lifestyle. This is his coveted national birthright and raison d’ętre of living. A glimpse of this is to be gleaned from the astounding statement attributed to the rabbis that “It is worthwhile for a person to live a full a lifetime just to be granted the opportunity to perform one mitzvah”!

So let us pick up that marble from the dusty floor. Let us polish it and elevate it to reveal the dazzling gem that it really is!!


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The Heart of the Matter
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

The New Year for Trees
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

A Table in the Wilderness
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Can A Person Sleep For Seventy Years?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Healing the Fracture
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Moshe Addressing Yosef’s Request
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Erev Rav: Return to Sender
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

A Stiff-Necked People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

An Investment In Our Future
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5759

> Victories and Triumphs
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Everyday Miracles
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Enjoy the Ride
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

ArtScroll

Mon or Man?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Song of Moses and Isreal
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5774

Don't Squander It
Rav Frand - 5768

A Seamless Integration On A Higher Plane
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5774



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information