Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Something serious

Today the Shluchim of YHSTC had another spectacular Shiur from Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, and I'd like to share a nice vort that he said at the end. Kosher fish must have both fins and scales. The truth is, however, that all fish that have scales also have fins, so what's the point of the Torah mandating the fins? The Alter Rebbe says that we can look at the particular functions of these two body parts for the answer. A fin is something that is used to go upward, to go higher, and this is representative of Torah study, a discipline that plumbs the depths of the human intellect and simultaneously soars aloft to bask in the rays of G-d's own knowledge. A scale is a cover, a protection. We see this in Tanya, where the Alter Rebbe writes that a person builds up a chain mail with their Mitzvos, particularly Tzedaka.
So the answer is; when someone only has fins, only has Torah (like a misnaged), then they're suspect. But if someone only has good deeds, then they're all right.

Nice, eh? For the next few days I'm going out of town, to a wedding in Mequon, and while I will certainly try and post I can't promise anything. But check back again next week, because hey! why not?