Daf Yomi Nazir 53
Rabbi Meir of Premishlan would get up early each morning and make his way up the mountain next to his village to use the pool of water at the summit as a mikvah prior to davening. The townsfolk marvelled 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-man,’ they would say.
A couple of young men from a neighbouring 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 eighty five year old appeared to sprint up!
Exasperated, they turned to him, demanding to know his secret.
“When one is connected with above,” the rabbi responded, “one does not fall below.”
Concerning the contraction of impurity, the Torah declares, “And whoever in the open field touches one that is slain with a sword, or one that died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be impure seven days.”
Beraisa: “Or a grave” teaches that one becomes defiled for passing over a sealed tomb. For the master said: Impurity breaks through and ascends, breaks through and descends.
Rashi explains: 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.
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 Talmud 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. When you are ‘connected to above’, you can rise to success knowing that you are not bound by this world, realizing that the laws of gravity do not apply to you. You can climb any mountain, rise above any challenge of life, because you are not weighed down by this world.
How do you connect to above? By aligning your will with the Almighty’s will. By constantly asking yourself how your actions fit with your Divine mission. By placing your faith in G-d’s hand and trusting that no matter what mountain he sends your way, He has already given you the strength to rise above.
You are a Divine being. You are not bound by the laws of nature. May you merit connecting with above and defying the gravity that weighs and wears everyone else down in life!