Minute #529: Transform

“So what do you think?” Benny asked Rami. “Wasn’t his presentation awesome?”

“I think you’re right about his talent — he’s one of the most dynamic speakers I’ve ever heard!” Rami replied enthusiastically. “However, I think I’ll have a problem doing what he suggested.”

“I don’t know what you mean; it all seemed very straightforward to me,” Benny said. “What’s difficult?”

“It’s the part about EVERY thing being done l’shem Shamayim,” Rami said. “I exert a lot of effort to maintain my learning schedule and contribute my community service, but there are many things I do that don’t qualify as ‘religious.’”

“Now I see your difficulty. The truth is I, too, once thought that I wouldn’t be able to do everything for the sake of Heaven, but I’ve learned the secret,” Benny said. “You don’t have to create Heavenly deeds; you only have to transform what you already do into Heaven-directed actions. Start small and you’ll get better as time goes on. I can tell you it’s possible if you really put your mind to it.”

The Chofetz Chaim explained (Torat Habayit) that Hashem created the animal’s body and spirit simultaneously. The human was created first as a body and then the soul was blown into the material mass. Hashem’s intention was to teach us that we, unlike other creations, have the unique ability to infuse spirituality into materialism. Using thought and speech we can transform the mundane into the holy. If one eats in order to have strength to do good deeds and conducts business according to halachah, one can infuse spirituality into the world. Each of us has the unique ability to transform our environment into a loftier state.

Put your mind to it and you can do it!

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

Just as when you need to reformat a computer hard drive in order to completely remove viruses that corrupted and crippled the operating system, the hand of G-d was necessary to liberate and reformat our mindset (from the psychological dependence on Mitzrayim), thus returning it to its previous state of Yiddishe purity. (Yaakov Shain and Avi Fishoff, GPS! Navigation for Your Soul, p. 315)