Pirkei Avos / Ethics of the Fathers Based on the teachings of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe; adapted by Tal Zwecker
Chapter 6 Mishna 2 "Freedom"
The Mishna quotes a verse in Shemos (Exodus) 32:16 which reads "The tablets
are the work of G-d and the writing is the work of G-d charus - engraved on
the tablets," The Mishna teaches "Do not read this as 'engraved' (Charus in
Hebrew) rather read this as 'freedom' (Cheirus), for there is no one who is
truly as free as a man who engages in Torah study."
What defines a free man? It is not only the fact that he is not enslaved,
rather he must have a characteristic that defines him as free.
At first glance no one in the world seems to fit this definition. In a way
we are all as slaves subjugated to our physical bodily needs; we all must
eat and drink to stay alive. If so how can we call ourselves 'free'?
Although this is true we must re-examine our understanding of how Chassidus
looks at eating and drinking. The verse in Mishlei 3:6 "Know Hashem in all
your ways" is a cornerstone in our philosophy. Rather than living the life
of an ascetic and secluding ourselves from this world our job is to find the
G-dly spark in everything we encounter and elevate it. This is how we should
react towards food and drink, rather than fasting and abstaining we should
learn to partake with an intention to eat and drink strengthening ourselves
physically so that we can better serve Hashem with Torah study and prayer.
Based on: Biurim Le-Pirkei Avos Chapter 5 Mishna 6 / Chapter 6 Mishna 2 /
Biurim Le-Perush Rashi Al-HaTorah VaYikra / Bechukosai Parshas Bamidbar /
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
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