Tomer Devora-Examples of G-dliness

22 12 2010

Based on a shiur by Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen

Examples of G-dliness

The sefer, Tomer Devora, is based on a verse in Micha, “Mi Kel komocha..”-Who is like you Hashem.  It describes how man should adopt Hashem’s Thirteen Attributes of Mercy, transforming himself from a mere human to a G-dly individual. This class focuses on the middah of chesed as expounded further in the verse, “Ki chofetz chesed hu..”-Hashem desires chesed.

In the heavens above, there are angels whose sole purpose is to receive and present the chesed of the Jewish people to Hashem, particularly in a time when they are not following the Torah. This chesed intercedes for them and sweetens the judgment. Even terrible sins punishable by death, merit forgiveness through chesed. Why is chesed so significant in the eyes of Hashem?

The Michtav M’Eliyahu writes that giving is the foundation of all mussar and machasava. It is a prerequisite for emunah and avodat Hashem. Chesed is a form of giving. When a person gives of himself, he indicates that he is investing in something spiritual and eternal. The Jewish nation distinguish themselves as being merciful, modest, and kind. We do not pride ourselves on our physical prowess or intelligence.  The Torah tells us “Vahavata l’reicha komocha…” Ahava comes from the root word “hav”-to give. We indicate our love by giving of ourselves. Our goal should be to give without expecting anything in return. Even those who hurt us, should be the recipients of our chesed. This is how Hashem acts with us and this is our basis for emunah.

The text in Micha reads further, “Yashav yerachameihu..”-Hashem is merciful to those who return. When one person sins against another, the level of love and respect for the other person can never be the same. In contrast, when a person does teshuva, he becomes even closer to Hashem. This is the level we should strive to achieve with those who wrong us. While a tzaddik can have a relationship with Hashem, a baal teshuva is in the category of a servant who is even closer to his Master.

The Midrash asks, why is Magen Avraham called Avraham’s bracha? Does it not say Elokei Avraham? Avraham brought Hashem’s existence into the world with his actions. Similarly, when we emulate Hashem’s middot, our divine like aspect comes to the fore. We glorify Hashem with our righteous actions and bring His presence into the world. May our efforts to perfect our inner selves sanctify Hashem’s name and bring atonement for all of Klal Yisrael.



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