Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Only By Their Merit

Art: Vladimir Kush

He saw a resting place, that it was good, and he land, that it was pleasant, and he bent his shoulder to bear... [Vayechi 49:15]

Rashi offers the following explanation: "He saw that tranquility was good" - He saw that his portion [in the Land of Israel] was blessed and good for producing fruit.  'Yet he bent his shoulder to bear' the yoke of Torah."

Yissachar saw that the land it had been granted was fertile and blessed, capable of yielding luscious fruit and bringing it great wealth.  Yet he chose to make do with little and to dedicate his life to the study of Torah.

The Chofetz Chaim compared this to the story of a high-ranking official who took a trip by sea.  The ship that he was sailing upon was the epitome of beauty and luxury - even the crew aboard the ship were dressed elegantly. The official strolled along the deck, and was overcome by the ship's magnificence.

Then the official became curious of how the ship worked, so he requested to be shown exactly how it operated.  The captain of the ship took the official down below the deck of the ship. The official was shocked by what he saw. He saw dusty engine chambers filled with black soot, machines producing a horrible noise, and filthy crewmen covered with grease and fuel.

"There you have it" said the captain to the official.  "This is what enables you to ride upon such a smooth-sailing ship."

This is not what I expected, thought the officer.  That such a magnificent ship is operated by workers in soiled garments who look more like beggars than anything else is an absolute disgrace!

The official commanded the captain to clean all the engines and not sully them ever again with grease or fuel.

Obviously, an engine that does not have fuel or oil in it cannot move the ship at all.

The same idea can be applied to the world in which we live, said the Chofetz Chaim. The world is blessed with beautiful trees and springs - it is such a marvelous creation!  But it is important for us to realize that the entire world only exists thanks to the talmidei chachamim [Torah scholars] who sit in the batei midrash [study halls] and engage in Torah study, sufficing with the barest minimum. The world runs only by their merit!

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein


Anonymous said...

sounds nice ,,,,, maybe because of kabbalistic yeshivot in yerushalym that study rashash and ari and ramak and abir yaakov and gra and ben ish chai . But yeshivas like cc describes that learn just nigleh destroy the world far more then sustain it .

Tali said...

Beautiful mashal. Thank you.