Note: Yerachmiel Goldstein, a musician and writer who has been featured in Pop Chassid, will be starting a new series on the blog that will run every Friday. A Parshah thought for the week. Enjoy.
As the air becomes a bit colder and my basement apartment darkens, the shelter of my warm bed provides me with never-ending comfort.
Additionally, it creates the lack of drive to do anything. Everything outside the bed becomes a burden. Getting up is getting away from that great comfort. And I as I lay comfortably in bed, I begin to realize, this is death.
Not be so dramatic, but this is a quasi definition of death. The body lies down and does nothing, settling quite comfortably in the grave below. The only difference is, when you want to get up, you can’t (or at least not for a few years).
This morning in particular I wrestled in bed. I thought of some great things I would and could do; accomplishments I could and should achieve; changes that should and could and hopefully would come. But then again, that bed sure is comfortable. I said “Ok, enough!” and leaped from my bed to begin to dress. I glanced back at my bed, and the covers, and the pillows, and the sunlight barely touching the sheets and then my eyes began to close. I fell back to bed in a few seconds. As I lay there, I looked up at the ceiling feeling exceptionally bloated and still very, very tired. I thought (or said, I don’t remember because I was so tired) “you are now in a position of being taken advantage of.” You have no control, you have no say, you have no life laying there and doing nothing. Nature has become a master over you.
I thought of the burdensome hours to come, the rush, the running, the sweating, the constant need to put on more deodorant when no one is looking. And if they are looking, at least they know I make several attempts a day to care to work on my seemingly natural smell.
I kind of remembered I was alive.
Avraham, our father, is told to get up from where he is and go to wherever he must go. And he did. No complaints, no second or third thoughts, no time to lie in bed and think it over and then think, “but I like my bed.” A different generation one could argue.
It seems to be that a fundamental element of Avraham finding G-d was Avraham realizing his own “aliveness.” In fact, the famous line, Lech Lecha literally means go to yourself i.e who you really are. And who is that? A very energetic soul wanting to express itself through the body.
Avraham saw from such a perspective. Rather than seeing from the point of view of the tired and deodorant sprayed body, we should try to see from the sight of the soul. And how to do this?
1. Go to bed early and wake up early. Your day will be full and the nights will serve the day.
2. Turning a frown towards the opposite direction.
3. Giving more money to a reputable cause or individual.
4. Looking forward rather than looking back.
5. Notice what’s seems to be controlling you other than G-d.
And of course I am speaking to myself in bed.