Monday, 16 January 2012

Give it Away to Get it Back

by Dov (See all authors)

The Gemara in Brachos brings a contradiction between two p'sukim: one says everything is Hashem's, the other says the earth is given to mankind. Nu?

As you probably know, it answers: It all belongs to Hashem - until we make a b'racha. Once we say a b'racha, it is given to us. "v'ho'oretz nosan livnei odom" - it is ours!

I ask you: What was said in that b'racha that gave all this stuff to us? What is the power of the bracha that makes the switch?

It seems to me that all we say in a brocha is this: It's Yours, not mine. You made this fruit - Konei Shomayim vo'oretz - You made it, so it belongs to you.

That is why the brocha gives it to us. We remember that it is His, not ours. So we 'get' it. Do we ever really get it? Of course not. We are His, the food we eat is His, etc. But that is the way things work: if we give it away, we get it - as much as a person can ever get anything in this world...to use it on loan.

That is why the program suggests we need to give up to 'win'; lead with our weaknesses to stay 'strong'; and 'let go' to get free. And I believe it is one meaning (closest to the Chofetz Chayim's p'shat in it) of the Chazal, "ein divrei Torah miskaymin ella b'mi sh'meimis es atzmo aleyhem" - the only way to get Hashem and succeed in His Torah is to totally let go of our grasp on ourselves - our pride, fears, resentments...all that baggage we hold onto so tightly.