Spiritual Navel-Gazing (Reeh)
The soul’s emphasis is always right. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first words of the Torah reading of Reeh (Deuteronomy 11:26) starts off by declaring: “See, I set before you today a blessing and a curse.” The first two words are “See” (Reeh) and “I” (Anochi). However, there is another way to read those two words, namely as “See me.”
There’s a story that was told about one of the followers of the Chidushei HaRim who came to his door and just stood there gazing at him. When the Chidushei HaRim noticed and asked the follower why he was staring, the follower answered that he had learned an interpretation by the Ohr Hachaim of the above verse that “See me” can also be understood as “look at a Tzadik, a righteous person” to receive blessings, and that drinking in the vision of a righteous person is beneficial to one’s soul.
The Chidushei HaRim countered to his follower with the well-known verse “and Your people are all righteous.” The Chidushei HaRim instructed his follower to look within himself to find that divine blessing. One doesn’t need to go further than their own spirit to find a spark of God within which can be the kernel for the blessings a person might need and desire. While there are clearly advantages and even a requirement to seek wisdom, inspiration, assistance and guidance from others who are wiser, inspiring, helpful and experienced, when it comes to seeking God’s blessing, we just need to look within ourselves. God is right there.
May we figure out how to tap that infinite source of blessing within ourselves.
To our son Netanel and Adina Spielman on their marriage! Mazal Tov!