Sunday, November 18, 2007

Emunah U’Bitachon 1:2

Yet, of what use is vision alone, if man does not have the power to move things? The creator therefore prepared for man two arms, on his right and his left. He split each arm into individual components, each with its own joints, so that they move quickly and easily. At the end of each arm, he placed a hand; each with five separate fingers. These fingers have the sense of touch, differentiating between cold and hot, dry and wet, and soft and hard – all according to man's needs in his earthly life.

Yet these qualities – eyes and hands – would serve no purpose if man would still not be able to move himself. He therefore created in man two feet, enabling him to walk on the ground. All these are beautifully made, with wisdom and perception.

However, eyes, hands and feet will not help man if he is still not endowed with life! The creator therefore provided him with a soul, granting life. It is a secret hidden from us, yet we can all testify that life exists and is an entity, and through it we exist. We call 'life' by various names, the soul, nefesh, ruach or neshamah – all an indistinct way of defining this entity, although in reality we don't know what it is.

In truth, there are many things in a person's body that cause one to wonder over their complexity and function – the various limbs, the construction of the flesh and the bones, the circulatory system that preserves life, and the blood itself which is essential for life. But, even if man exists, complete, he still cannot be assured of survival, because his life is dependent on being constantly nourished, which refreshes his physical capabilities. Because of this, the botanic world was created, grain, wine and oil, vegetables and fruit, of innumerable types. Each of these contains various strengths that parallel man's needs – whether as medicine, for hydration or for nutrition. (Man has already had the opportunity to understand some of the wondrous wisdom that each plant contains in its composition, which also serves to testify to their creator's boundless wisdom.)

4 Comments:

Anonymous dn said...

This may be a useful reference for you:
http://www.jewishbuys.com/auction/auctiondetails.php?id=105987

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19/11/07 4:13 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Just what I was looking for... Thanks!

:-)

19/11/07 7:14 PM  
Anonymous dn said...

If you will allow me some grammatical nitpicking, the sefer should actually be called Emunah U'Vitachon. Unless you claim that since the Chazon Ish himself almost certainly referred to it as U'Bitachon, that's the true name of the sefer.

In any case, thanks for the inspiring Divrei Sorah!

19/11/07 7:53 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Common usage, my friend, common usage...

19/11/07 7:55 PM  

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Emunah U'Bitachon 1:1

The trait of Emunah, faith, is easy to acquire for one who is calm of spirit. Such a person – an intellectual, who is living in peaceful times and who is free from physical want – he is uplifted, observing both the heights of heaven and the depths of the earth. Yet, he becomes troubled because the world appears before him as an enigmatic riddle. This riddle, wondrous and hidden, seizes his heart and mind! His whole being becomes subsumed by this riddle and his soul pines to know its solution for which he would willingly pass through fire and water! What use is life to him, if this sweet life is completely hidden from him? His soul becomes entrapped, mourning and longing to understand its secret, yet the path is blocked.
This person, though, has not yet found the solution, when he is again troubled. He has seen much of the evidence that clearly proves that the world before him was built with forethought and planning, as if a wise draftsman drew the entire world before it was created, and although he encountered at each step various impediments, his great diligence enabled him to remove each obstacle, one after another. This craftsman saw how wonderful man could be, and he decided that man would not be deserving of the name unless he had specific information about all that populated his world, for without such knowledge there would be no life for man. The craftsman thought and came up with a mechanism which through it all things on earth could become apparent to man, every one in its own form. He placed in man - on his right and his left - two mechanisms which we call "the eyes."
(How much wisdom is contained in the eye! One cannot become sated of it, for in each generation the wise men add to their understanding of the wisdom which is hidden in the construction of the eye, and they have not yet reached the ultimate.)

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Chazon Ish, Emunah U’Bitachon

I will start to post pieces of Chazon Ish, Emunah U'Bitachon in order, as I have time. The Chazon Ish wrote in a poetic mix of Biblical, Mishnaic and modern Hebrew, as well as in Aramaic. This Sefer, although of great importance, is not studied as much as it would be, due to the difficulty in comprehending the Chazon Ish's intent. As the Sefer deals with fundamentals of Jewish thought and Torah behavior, I think that a translation will be useful.

Translation note: It is very difficult to translate this Sefer literally, so these pieces should be considered a loose (sometimes very loose) translation. I hope and pray that I don't misrepresent the Chazon Ish's message, and that this serve to inspire.

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