A Treasure Hunt: An Invitation & Challenge

Sep 28th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Spiritual Growth
Treasure Map

Treasure Map

Where shall I go? Shall I search for my new gadget on EBay or go on a quest in New York City, where you can find almost everything that you can find on the web, but with a greater sense of adventure?

My children, when they were younger, loved going on “adventures” in the City. They hated the schlep, but the promise of a special treat, an abundance of which exist in New York, usually won the day. We would turn the day into a treasure hunt. We would have a contest of who would be the first to find the strange object of our expedition. We found unique boxes that we, actually Debbie, would transform into a Thank You Machine – often called a Tzedaka (Charity) box in the vernacular. An old lamp was soon converted into a Chanukah menorah. A 100-year-old pillowcase became a Tallit bag, and an old tablecloth became a magnificent Challah cover.

The adventure did not end when we found the object of our search. We would stand around and watch with awe as Debbie worked her alchemy and produced her miracles. The thrill over her creativity more than matched the joy of the hunt.

I have been ill for a few weeks and hesitate to go outside. I was desperate for an adventure. EBay was so insulted by the opening of this blog that they would not allow me to use them for my explorations. (Some people!) I decided to go to a place even more fun than New York City: this week’s portion: Bereishit with the stories of creation, the Garden in Eden, the big sin, Cain and Abel, the Cain’s death and the quick downfall of humanity. There are more stories in these few chapters than there are in Manhattan.

My heart was set on a treasure hunt, so that’s what it was: How many of our daily blessings could I find in Bereishit?

Care to join me? (I found 19 so far.)

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1 Comment

  • moshe stepansky

    As we’ve mentioned before, the Torah was given ‘black fire on white fire’.

    The black fire, of course, are the holy words of our holy Torah. The white fire, the blank spaces between the words, as R’Shlomo reminded us, are so much deeper.

    RaSH”I ponders on the first verse of the Torah- why didn’t G-d begin the Torah from “HaChodesh hazeh lachem…” the first mitzvah to Clal Yisroel?

    I’d like to suggest an additional answer to that query.

    The recounting of the development of Man, continuing to the recounting of the legacies leading up to “The birth of the Nation” of Israel that was charged with the first national mitzva of HaChodesh(black fire)requires us to observe the ‘white fire’ of hidden and not-so-hidden underlying traits and behaviours required of a true ‘Oveid HaShem’.

    Elemental concepts that should prevent one from becoming a ‘naval b’rshut HaTorah’.

    Gratitude to HaShem – Odom HaRishon missed the boat by blaming it all on Chava, rather than thanking G-d for this most precious of all and asking G-d to please forgive the mistake.

    Humility, Caring about others and sensitivity to name a few.

    These traits form the platform upon which one may then have a truer base to perform the black fire of the mitzvot enumerated in our Holy Torah and elucidated by CHaZ”L.

    Similarly, throughout the G’mara and since, we have an abundance of personal anecdotes, both of our Holiest Rabbis and of our Holiest Shleppers, that reinforce the importance of the ‘white fire’ of the unwritten commandments that comport us to appropriately carry out the will of Heaven.

    (As the case was with the Flood Generation, if the ‘white fire’ is neglected, the world cannot continue to exist in that vacuum. Similarly, S’dom was turned upside down.)

 

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