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Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks - 2 Elul

Hayom Yom: Tackling Life's Tasks - 2 Elul

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בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נִקְרְאוּ אֶרֶץ חֵפֶץ, שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם כַּמָּה חֲפָצִים יְקָרִים בְּאַהֲבַת הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרֵךְ וְיִרְאָתוֹ וּמִדּוֹת טוֹבוֹת, וְאֵין דְּבַר גִּלּוּי הַמִּדּוֹת הַטּוֹבוֹת תָּלוּי אֶלָּא בַּמְּעוֹרֵר. דָּבָר בָּרוּר הוּא, אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל חֶלְקֵי הָאֲדָמָה נִמְצָאִים מַעְיְנוֹת מַיִם חַיִּים, וְהַהֶבְדֵּל הוּא רַק בְּקִרוּב וְרִחוּק, וְאִם כֵּן הֲלֹא הַכֹּל תָּלוּי בְּהַחוֹפֵר וְכֹחַ סַבְלָנוּתוֹ וּמְתִינוּתוֹ.

וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהָרָצוֹן הוּא כֹּחַ עֶלְיוֹן הַגּוֹזֵר וּמְפַקֵּד עַל כָּל הַכֹּחוֹת, וּמַכְרִיחָם לַעֲשׂוֹת וְלִפְעוֹל כְּפִי הַפְּקוּדוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ, אִם כֵּן אֵיפוֹא, עִקָּר הָעֲבוֹדָה הוּא לְעוֹרֵר אֶת הָרָצוֹן לִפְעוֹל וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הֵן בְּעַצְמוֹ הֵן בְּזוּלָתוֹ.

The Jewish people are called1 “a cherished land,” for they possess many precious qualities, [including] their love of G‑d, their fear of Him, and their upstanding character traits. [But like treasures buried in the earth,] the revelation of these positive qualities depends solely upon the person who evokes them.

It is obvious that springs of fresh water exist in all parts of the earth. The difference lies only in how close or far they are [from the surface]. If so, everything depends on the digger and his patience and deliberateness.

Since the will is a superior power [within the soul], it decrees and directs [the activity of] all the powers, compelling them to function and act according to its orders. Thus one’s main task is to arouse the will to act and function, both with regard to oneself and to others.2

Probing Beneath the Surface

Human beings are thus multi-leveled. Beneath the surface of our personalities lies an entirely different tier of consciousness, a level at which every one of us harbors treasures worthy of being revealed. Happy is the one who digs — and helps others dig — to bring these treasures to the surface.

How does one become a digger? Instead of complacently accepting our superficial situation as it appears to be, one can decide not to settle for mediocrity; one can demand of himself and of others a penetrating glance that unearths those treasures.

Complacency can be self-reinforcing. A person can slump around and push through life even if he breathes so shallowly that only the two upper lobes of his lungs are ever filled. Alternatively, he can decide to stand erect and breathe deeply, calling on the entire expanded capacity of all five lobes. If he does so, his fully oxygenated bloodstream will pump such energy through his entire system that he will barely recognize himself.3

Footnotes
1.
Malachi 3:12. See also the entry for 17 Iyar.
2.
Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, letter #937, Heb. Vol. 4, p. 119-120.
3.
See also the entry for 2 Kislev.
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