Parshat Eikev

The Heart Is Awake

By Rav Micha Golshevsky

In this parsha we find that one should always cleave to Hashem. The Shem M’Shmuel explains how one can always cleave to Hashem. “”In spiritual terms, completion of one’s heart is known as his nachalah, literally inheritance in Eretz Yisrael. Our sages say that one’s portion in the land is eternal. This means always without interruption. This is impossible for the intellect. A human being always has times when he is more focused and times when his intellect is occluded. We find this repeated many times in the Talmud. When a sage said something difficult his companion sometimes says, ‘I think he said that when he was napping.’ Clearly even the greatest people, towering intellects, go through alternating cycles of what the mekubalim, kabbalists call expanded consciousness and constricted consciousness.

“But the heart is different. One can—and should—always direct his heart to Hashem, filled with yearning for closeness to the Source. We see this from the verse in Shir Hashirim: ‘I sleep, but my heart is awake.’

“This is the meaning of the verse in Shema brought in our parshah: ‘When you lie down in your house, and when you go on the road, when you sit and when you rise.’ The Ramban explains this to refer to dveikus, remembering and cleaving one’s heart to Hashem and always filling his emotions with his great love for the Creator. Even when one speaks to his fellow, his heart should be filled with love for Hashem.”

The Ba’al Shem Tov gave an inspiring description of a genuine tzaddik. “The main completion of a tzaddik is his continual dveikus on high. During every instant he must be bound to his Source. Each word intoned will preserve his dveikus, not diminish it. Even when a tzaddik must speak about mundane matters, he will do so with his heart focused on high.

“It is especially difficult to hold on to the dveikus when one must think about acting in this world. Even planning out how to do a mitzvah can easily interrupt the flow of dveikus since one must immerse himself in the world of action. One must be very vigilant to hold onto the dveikus while involved with these matters, as much as possible. He must act with great alacrity in this.”

Good Shabbos


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