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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"Listen heavens and I will speak;and let the earth hear the words of my mouth" (32:1)

Moshe in his last will and testament to Israel uses the heavens and the earth as witnesses. The use of heaven and earth is very interesting, and perhapes can teach us the following lesson: There are two types of people who find it differcult to properly reach a higher level in their spiritual endeavors. One person is so haughty and conceited that he or she feels that they have already reached the pinnacle,and prematurely puts a halt to their further growth.............Such a person is represented by the heavens......Another type of person,as represented by the earth, feels and imagines that he or she is so lowly that how can they possibly grow spiritually,and never really tries whatsoever.......However, Mosha is providing each of these types with the means to overcome their particular shortcomings.The haughty (heavenly) person must look towards the earth and be humbled.........And the lowly (earthly) person must look towards the heavens and be inspired.......In order to achieve greatness, a person must try to balance conceit with humility.This is no easy task, but by using both the heavens and earth as examples, man can basically learn to center himself,and find the happy median.Similarly,the great Chassidic Rebbe, Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa suggested that every person carry in his pocket two cards. On one card he should write the verse, "I am but dust and ashes" (Genesis 18:27),and on the other card the words,"The world was created for my sake",(Sanhedrin,37a) (Siach Sarfei Kodesh). Have a good Shabbos.....


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