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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Getting up when you're feeling down

Daf Yomi Nazir 43


Rudy was in a rut.  He had been feeling down for a couple of days now and didn’t know what was wrong.  Was he depressed?  Maybe it was mono?  He just didn’t have the strength or interest to do anything.  He was hardly eating.  He couldn’t muster the willpower to go to work.  Hey, he couldn’t even be bothered with the rubbish on TV.   How could he pull himself out of this hole?

Rabbah quoted Rav Huna: Throughout the Torah, we find “he shall not become impure.”  The verse that states “he shall not enter a room with the dead,” serves to warn that one is liable for becoming impure and for entering.  However, not for becoming defiled multiple times, for once one is impure he cannot become doubly impure.

The Gemara asks: How can one become impure separately from entering?  Once he is impure, he would no longer be liable for entering!  Indeed, as soon as he enters his hand into the house, his whole body contracts impurity.  And so by the time he enters, he is already impure!

If it’s true that when your hand comes into contact with impurity, the impurity spreads through your entire body, then how much more so when you touch purity, that purity spreads throughout your entire body!

What does that mean?  Let’s say you wake up one morning and you’re just not in the mood to put on tefillin.  You say to yourself, ‘If my heart’s not into it and I’m just going through the motions, what’s the point?’  To a certain extent, you’re right – the Almighty wants your feeling, not just the robotic action.  But at the end of the day, you’re missing a secret ingredient – the power of the Divine energy that will result from your initial mindless action!

When your hands perform a mitzvah, even if your heart and head are not into it, the Divine energy begins to flow and ultimately serves to energize your heart and head.  Just like the impurity that spreads through your body, the purity spreads like wildfire!  You automatically becoming a lightning rod for spirituality!  Putting the tefillin on, even if you’re not feeling it, will lead you to feel it as the energy begins to flow. 

But here’s where the real magic begins to happen.  Let’s say, like Rudy, you’re feeling down.  You really aren’t in the mood to do anything, let alone a mitzvah.  The secret is in the mitzvah!  When you put on that tefillin or give that coin to tzedakah or light the Shabbat candles, the Divine flow fills you from head to toe, invigorating you physically as well as spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically!

You have become a conduit for the Divine flow of energy.  You are radiating Heaven’s light and heat.  Your entire being is aglow.  You’re feeling it, right now, aren’t you?

When you touch purity, you set off an out-of-this-world spark that lights up your entire being.  May you merit being infused with the Divine flow of energy by touching and doing every mitzvah that comes your way and never being stuck in a rut ever again!