Wherever You Go

Rabbi Dovid Hirsch, shlita, mara d’atra of Kehillas Bais Yosef, wonderfully applied a Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch to explain a Chinuch (mitzva 196) that says one of the reasons not to remove the staves of the Aron is in order to have the image of them together in your mind. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch himself understands the message to be that Torah should be taken everywhere with you. Rabbi Dovid Hirsch explains that this could be the precise idea of the Chinuch. One must etch the image of the Aron with the holders in their mind to realize the Torah must be taken every place a person goes.

Rabbi Yaakov Harari, in his podcasts, has the unique ability to apply the Torah principles to every person no matter where they are holding. Using principles based on Rabbi Yisroel Salanter, he makes a differentiation between chush, feeling, and sechel, thinking. One who lives by his chush, looks at things as they are. He has no particularly strong connection with G-d. He’s just not tuned into hashgachah pratit. Only when he sees what looks like an open miracle, he finds feelings of faith. His potential for growth is limited.

Then he discusses the person of sechel. He is always thinking, always in tune with the Master of the Universe. He sees G-d in everything and its quite clear that he’s always moving forward and upward. We know well that the Rambam says that naturally people follow their ratzon, desire, and therefore sechel, thinking, is so critical, for the mind must think of ways to overcome taking the easy route of desire. If one uses the image of the Chinuch to realize that Torah must go with us everywhere then he can be in the category of a person of sechel, who uses G-d’s infinite wisdom to guide him in everything.

The fact that we must bring Torah into every situation was cemented into this world by Yaakov, the “choicest” of the avot. He was able to engage in Torah faithfully and apply all the Torah rules to perfection. Rambam calls him a tzaddik based on his scrupulous work ethic with Lavan. Yaakov never stole time from him. He raised everything physical into holy matter. This is our purpose. Use the Torah to make ourselves and everything else holy.

By engraving the image of the Aron and its staves molded together in our minds, we can continually grow with the Torah wherever we are. The Torah is applicable to any situation, and we have the great blessing to apply it wholly.