WOODEN WATERS: DT for Parshas NITZAVIM {By: Tani Guterman}

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{Tani’s Torah Tidbits}  T2M2: A Talent for One, A Talent for All

Sources from Chabad

DEUTERONOMY – Perek 29, Pasukim 9-10

.אַתֶּ֨ם נִצָּבִ֤ים הַיּוֹם֙ כֻּלְּכֶ֔ם לִפְנֵ֖י ה’ אֱלֹֽקיכֶ֑ם רָֽאשֵׁיכֶ֣ם שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֗ם זִקְנֵיכֶם֙ וְשֹׁ֣טְרֵיכֶ֔ם כֹּ֖ל אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל. טַפְּכֶ֣ם נְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם וְגֵ֣רְךָ֔ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּקֶ֣רֶב מַֽחֲנֶ֑יךָ מֵֽחֹטֵ֣ב עֵצֶ֔יךָ עַ֖ד שֹׁאֵ֥ב מֵימֶֽיךָ

“You stand upright this day, all of you… your heads, your tribes, your elders, your officers and all the men of Israel… from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water.”

Why is it mentioning that all the Jews were there? And why specifically does it note about wood hewers and water drawers?

GM’ Pesachim 50a: R’ Yosef the son of R’ Joshua ben Levi fell ill and was at the brink of death when his father’s prayers brought him back to life. When he came to, his father asked him: “My son, what did you see (in heaven)?” Rav Yosef replied: “I saw an upside-down world. Those who are on top here are on the bottom there; and those who are here regarded as lowly are exalted in heaven.”

Alshich: That the leader or the sage is superior to the wood-hewer or the water-carrier is only from our earthbound perspective, which sees a “hierarchy” of roles. But when “you all stand before G‑d,” there is no higher and lower—what seems “low” here is no less lofty and significant in G‑d’s eyes.

R’ Schneur Zalman of Liadi: Like the various organs and limbs of a body, each of which complements, serves and fulfills all the others, so too the Jewish people: the simple “wood-hewer” or “water-carrier” contributes something to each and every one of his fellow Jews, including the most exalted “head.”

The Lubavitcher Rebbe: Our sages have said: “All Israel are guarantors for each other” [GM’ Shevuot 39a]. But a person cannot serve as a guarantor unless he is more resourceful in some way than the one he is guaranteeing. For example, a poor man obviously would not be accepted as a guarantor for a rich man’s loan. So if the Gemarah says that all Jews serve as guarantors to each other, this means that in every Jew there is a quality in which he or she is superior to all others.

Every single job in this world, even what SEEMS to be the lowliest, is absolutely critical (and exalted in the True World). This is exactly why the above noted jobs (considered by most as menial) are specifically mentioned.

Notable Noteworthy Notes:

א: Top Bottom / Bottom Top: In this world, we see such a sham/misrepresentation of what is considered lofty and ideal and what is considered lowly and not respected. When we look at society, who is considered ‘important’ and paid billions? Actors, sportsmen, entertainers, etc. The “lowly” people who deserve respect and the money usually get nothing/little (ie: teachers and the like). There is a disproportionate respect and salary for some professions (ie: lawyers, doctors, etc.) versus others (teachers, social workers, janitorial custodial, etc.). Who is to say which one job is actually ‘worth’ more than others? In the REAL World we will later see who has worked hard and who deserves proper praise and honor.

ב: All Together/ Zero Hierarchy: We are one nation, linked together as one body, and should function as such. Every Jew deserves honor, respect, and admiration. No one person should be idolized, crowned, or viewed as untouchable to the exclusion of everyone else. We are all precious to Hashem and all deserve decency as G-d’s creations.

ג: All Contribute/ Limbs Together: Everyone should do their part to contribute where they can. No one should sit back, do nothing, and hope someone else will pick up their slack. All people should give of their time, money, and Torah ability, whether they are “earners” or “learners.” We must all work together to accomplish communal/worldly goals.

ד: Uniquely Talented Guarantors: Every one has a specific talent for something which no one else is capable of accomplishing. That is why no one should ever look down upon another for what they contribute. A mover is gifted with being able to lift furniture in fascinating methods, while caregivers have tremendous creativity and patience. A doctor can diagnose complicated medical problems while a teacher educates our precious children. Everyone contributes their talents and each is special and unique.

May we all recognize each other’s talents and bring the nation to function as a WHOLE BODY unit. When we are able to work in harmony, we will prove ourselves worthy to Hashem for Him to bring to the coming of Moshiach and the building of the third Beis Hamikdash speedily in our days. Amen.

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