Thursday, September 16, 2010
The rock, the chicken and the blade of grass
Click on the herring (in tool bar on the right) to see text.
Page 29 – about last quarter of the page. Line starts, “oneg eloki...”
We have looked at how oneg extends into every faculty and extends back to the nefesh, making it a participant in the activities of the faculties.
This occurs via chochmah. Nefesh has chochmah and it itself is reflected here, yet on the other hand it is only a faculty.
Everything that a person does, no matter how small, and even if seemingly initiated by an external stimulus, relates back to the nefesh.
This connection is due to the general koach/faculty that is the essence of all the others – koach ha chochmah is this faculty.
Even in a plant or stone there is tynug. It itself does not experience anything. They lack (as do the animal world) the level of personal experience. They don't have a spiritual perception of “what and who am I”. So what is the tynug here? It is the tynug that gives them a place in the world.
The secular world came up with the idea of evolution as an explanation – all evolving from itself – from amoeba onwards... And that man came from a monkey. What is the driving force in this process? To secure it its own existence. There is no cognizance of anything greater. And there is a constant sense of its own precariousness. Thus from this perspective there is no meaning to a man's existence and no such thing as true friendship.
From a Torah perspective: Oneg is that level of presence that is truth unto itself – fundamental, without vulnerability – indestructible. This oneg is sourced in the fact that the world was/is created by G-d. This is why rocks, plants and creatures have not only a right to be, but meaning to be. When you shecht a chicken it has reached the epitome of existence, being included in something higher than itself.
We have the mitzvah of not wasting, not destroying something of value. The fact that He created it means it is imbued with this aspect, there is a G-dly element in this object – it is alive – it doesn't have to fight to be. There is a G-dly light in everything – this is called oneg, this is not sechel – it is a real element of presence. It relates the world to something higher.
For video, click here (right click to open in a new window)