Spirituality, how do you achieve it? by Danny Shulman


The first Pasuk of this week’s Parsha states והיה עקב תשמעון את המשפטים האלה....  The Midrash Tanchuma writes that the word Eikev can be translated into “heel” but still keep its context in the Pasuk by saying that you should not ignore Mitzvot that you deem unimportant, those you “rub out with your heel.” The classic explanation is the one given in Pirkei Avot that one does not really know the significance of each Mitzva and therefore one cannot judge them.  However, Rabbi Mordechai Gifter zt”l offers a new approach based on the second part of this Pasuk.  He explains this to mean that if one keeps these Mitzvot he will be blessed with acts of kindness and the Torah as a way of life.

Mitzvot that only occur sporadically and seem important for keeping one’s spirituality are usually termed “big” Mitzvot.  However, more likely the opposite is true, because a person has a natural drive to perform those uncommon Mitzvot with passion, so any connection to Judaism you make based upon doing those certain Mitzvot is most likely only for the time being and would not affect the way you live your life.  So you wonder how you can attain a spiritual connection if the “big and important” Mitzvot will not be spiritually uplifting.  It all comes back to those seemingly small and regular Mitzvot that will help you attain spirituality, those that you would normally just ignore and trod over with your heel.  By performing those Mitzvot you can reach a spiritual high, and you will then be able to use even those uncommon and sporadic Mitzvot to elevate yourself because, you will perform them based upon your desire to fulfill all Mitzvot and not just the uncommon and “special” Mitzvot.

Be Happy- It’s a Mitzva by Ilan Tokayer

Action and Reaction by Willie Roth