This week we read from Parsha Re'eh or Deut. 11:26 - 16:17 and, as we said in class this week, it is "some heavy stuff". The Parsha starts out with the word Re-eh or "look". "Look, I present before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing: that you harken to the commandments of Hashem, your G-d, that I command you today."
Have you ever seen a person who, with all he can do, works to observe the Torah? I'm not suggesting that every "religious person" does. Frankly, there are some people who might suggest they observe but then fail when it comes to telling stories or doing things that they 'think' others will not see or notice. We're talking here about those solid people who work every day to live a Torah true life.
I've known several in my life. You can actually "look" at them and "see" they have peace, fulfillment and spiritual satisfaction. The blessing they have given us is that we can actually "see" the results of making the choice to follow the commandments. When we "see" this in them it should give us the drive to try harder.
My rabbi once told the story of the religious man who "looked" like he was righteous. In Yiddish is is called being a "Tzadik in peltz." The story is this:
"When it is winter and freezing cold, there are two things one can do. One can build a fire, or one can wrap himself in a fur coat. In both cases the person is warm. However when you build a fire you can warm yourself and those around you. When you wrap yourself in a fir coat it is only you...who is warm."
That is how it can be in a spiritual warmth as well... You can be a Tzadik in peltz or you can choose to live your life so that others will "see" it's not phony and strive to do...better.
May you have a blessed Shabbos, come to "see" the beauty in the Mitzvot...and choose to do just one more...
Shabbat Shalom from your friends at Adas Israel of Mason City, Iowa.