9 Cheshvan 5781 / Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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Walk, Don’t Fly    

Walk, Don’t Fly

Why didn’t Hashem create us with wings like the birds? By walking, we’re can’t fly to do a sin – we have more time for introspection and for pondering about our actions…


An excerpt from the Zohar, with translation and commentary by Rabbi Simcha Treister

On  Rosh Hashanna, the entire world is judged - both the physical bodies of mankind and the souls. They are all brought to attention and are judged on everything that they did over the entire year that passed. We have been taught that even the footsteps that a person makes are counted and are brought for judgment on that day, as is written "All my steps are counted" (Job 31:4).
It is explained in the commentary Chaim Umazon that the reason that mankind was not created with wings is so that he would not be able to fly immediately to do a sinful act. Since a person has to walk to do so, it is possible that as he proceeds he will have second thoughts and a more pure spirit will be aroused within him, counteracting the wicked thought and giving him the chance to repent before acting. Walking, instead of flying, gives him time for this introspection. His steps are therefore counted, and he is punished for failing to take advantage of this time (and the signs along the way) in order to repent of his bad intentions. Conversely he receives a reward for the very steps he takes to perform a mitzvah. (Based on the commentary Matok M'dvash)
Rabbi Yossi taught that three groups enter [for judgment] on the Day of Judgment: the group of the completely righteous, the group of the completely wicked, and the group of those in between [known as "beinonim"]. Corresponding to these, there are three powers in a person: the power of the holy  Neshama [relating to the righteous who empower their soul to control their body], the power of lust and desires [relating to the wicked who empower their lust-driven illusions to defeat the desire of their holy soul], and the power to prevent wrongdoing [relating to the beinonim]. 
What is the power to prevent wrongdoing? Rabbi Yehuda explained that this is a power that grows and prevents the body from achieving all its requirements.
The third group, the beinonim, is controlled by the nature of their bodies. This nature dictates to them what they think they need to do. Their failure is that they don't bring the actions so generated, such as eating and talking etc. which are not forbidden, into the realm of the holy. (Based on the commentary Matok M'dvash)
Rabbi Yossi ben Pazzi said: Come and see the mercy shown by the Holy One Blessed Be He. Even though the heavenly court comes to stand in judgment [for misdeeds] and to judge the Creation, there also appear those who give evidence before Him of a person's merits and [not just] misdeeds. This is as Rabbi Yossi ben Pazzi taught that three groups of heavenly angels stand in the judgment on Rosh Hashanah. There are those that give evidence on the good that a person has done on the side of his merits. And there are those that show his bad deeds to the side of his guilt [and the third group is to execute the judgment].
(Reprinted with permission from KabbalaOnline.org. Copyright 2003 by Ascent of Safed. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Ascent of Safed)

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