18 Nissan 5779 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | Torah Reading: Acharei Mot
 
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HomeSpirituality and FaithSpiritual GrowthA Human Metal Detector
 
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A Human Metal Detector    

A Human Metal Detector



The guy at the digging in the sand like the family cocker spaniel looks weird; what on earth is he doing? What else looks weird to us?

 



Our eyes can be cameras, like the ones they use in Hollywood, or they can see far beyond the deception.

 

When we walk on a street, what do we find appealing? The display of cakes in front of the bakery is appealing. The nice suit that the powerhouse attorney is wearing looks appealing. The woman in a revealing attire and in top physical shape looks appealing.

 

What looks a bit off?

 

The guy with the long beard doesn't look like he fits into the picture. The person with the leather straps going down his arm, and the black box on his forehead seems to stand out a bit. The person smiling at you all the time seems off.

 

Why?

 

When we use our eyes for their obvious purpose, our natural filters limit us to what we find physically appealing. Things that don't fit the norm stand out from the picture we create.

 

It's like going to the beach and scratching your head when you see a man burrowing through the sand like a dog.

 

Just what exactly is he doing?

 

Looking for gold…

 

What we don't realize is that he has a metal detector that scans the dirt to see where hidden treasures are buried. Once it goes off, he knows that beneath the surface lies precious gems of tremendous worth.

 

What looks odd to the naked eye is really the most practical thing a man can do.

 

We can apply this principle to everything else.

 

The naked eye sees the man in the nice suit running to earn his livelihood and thinks he is running after his wealth. He sees the cake and his pupils dilate. He thinks that the most precious things in life are right in front of him. Anyone normal goes after what his eyes tell him to.

 

The spiritual man does the exact same thing. He sees what is most important and runs to it with great alacrity.

 

His eyes, however, see the spiritual. They see the True Reality, and as if having a metal detector, he goes after the real wealth hidden beneath the sand.

 

He puts on modest clothes and wears his kippa and tzitzit because that's where his Armani watch is. He prays with tefillin and encourages others to do the same because that's his seven-layer cake. He sees the same lurid snapshot of the young woman and he knows he hit the jackpot, because he doesn't look at it.

 

All he has to do is look at the tip of his nose, or at the floor, and the Heavenly payout is enormous.

 

He turns his eyes into tools of massive wealth creation and he pursues this at every turn. This is the spiritual side of our ravenous pursuit of wealth. In this world, where the treasures are endless but the clock is ticking, there is no such thing as stopping.

 

Acquiring Our Own Metal Detector

 

How do we get to the point where we see the spiritual benefits rather than the material benefits in everything around us?

 

We fight. We struggle. We suffer. We grow. We endure. We develop.

 

Take one quality and work on it. Make it a hard one. I like sexual morality. That’s where you commit yourself to not flirting with a woman, not looking at her beauty, never touching a member of the opposite sex outside the bonds of marriage, and not even thinking about it.

 

It's a tough challenge. You will be tested. The Satan is an experienced general in the battle to bring you down. All it takes is one graphic image stuffed inside a banner in the middle of a "harmless" article about the Yankees and you are now knee-deep in the battle.

 

To fight, you have to invest every fiber of your being. You have to dedicate all of your strength to the holy cause of purity. Every bit of your consciousness is invested in the fight. Parts of your being you never even knew existed are suddenly utilized to escape the claws of the greatest personal foe of our time – a young, pretty girl.

 

In the process, you are strengthening spiritual muscles you never knew you had. By just resisting the urges with all your might, you are becoming a new person. When it comes to lifting weights, the rule is simple: all the changes are made through those final two lifts when you have no energy left but you push yourself beyond all your limitations.

 

This is why Hashem sends us tests we cannot handle. The resistance destroys us and recreates us.

 

As you keep up your daily workout, you become a lot stronger. You like feeling good about yourself. Most of the world sees the cake and begins to salivate. Now, connected to your new spiritual level, you feel pretty repulsed by it. When you see a salad with a nice dressing, your new instincts find this appealing.

 

You are reborn with new eyes.

 

The same graphic image now conjures up the frustration of having to fall down and redo the exhausting process of return. The sight of a tzaddik brings a smile to your face and fills you with energy and happiness.

 

Many around you will look at you and stare, like you’re some kind of a weirdo. But you’ve developed metal detectors in your eyes, and you see the immense treasures all around you.

 

 

* * *

Living in Israel for the better part of our adult life, my wife and I have become deliriously happy. Not just content, really happy. Life here is beautiful. It isn't easy, but the challenges are real, infusing us with a sense of ongoing purpose, and even more satisfaction. We developed http://www.abetterlifeinisrael.com/, a 5-hour, 20-video series to give you day to day guidance on How to Live a Better Life in Israel, and to share our joy in experiencing life in greatest place on earth.





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