Thursday, April 7, 2011

Faith and Feet

A man wrote to the Lubavitcher Rebbe that he was having problems with his feet, and how he should go about rectifying the problem from a spiritual point of view.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe replied: "The Alter Rebbe explains in Tanya, in the first letter of his fourth section of the Tanya, that the feet of a person are symbolic of the mitzvah of tzedakah.

Just as one's feet support the entire body (without them one would not be able to stand), so too with the mitzvah of tzedakah. Without it, the Jew and the Jewish world would not be able to survive. Therefore I suggest you increase your giving of tzedakah. This should be done not only with your money, but also with exerting yourself physically for another Jew.

Additionally, the Alter Rebbe compares the feet to emunah (faith in G-d). Just as the feet hold up the entire body, so does the mitzvah of emuna support the entire Jewish nation.

In the Zohar it says that eating shmura matzah on Pesach strengthens one's emunah. Therefore I suggest that you eat matza and study by heart the first few chapters of the second section of the Tanya, known as Sha'ar HaYichud v'HaEmuna, where it discusses at great length the fundamentals of faith. These spiritual remedies will bring a cure to your aching feet."

To another person the Rebbe wrote a more simplified version of the above:

"Feet symbolize faith in G-d : emunah. Therefore putting your simple faith in G-d's hands that He will remove the footaches is the only thing you should do."

Based on Igros Kodesh, Lubavitcher Rebbe
translated by Rabbi Chaim Dalfin

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