Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Seder Hayom (5): Why Thought?

Recently in the Seder Hayom series, we explored the first thoughts that are desirable for one to think at the beginning of the day, according to the seforim of Hornosteipel. See here where the Baal Shem Hakadosh explains that Thought is the ultimate source; Speech is a branch of Thought and Action is a branch of Speech. Previous posts are available by clicking the links beneath this post. Here a few additional possible insights as to why in Emek Tefila and Pele Yoetz it is Thought that steals the show.

Starting the day on the right foot doesn't begin when we are ready to actually put our feet on the floor. There are precious moments prior to stumbling out of bed that must be taken advantage of.

We are told that there are three "garments" or expressions of the soul: Thought, Speech and Action. A very powerful method of setting the day in G-dly motion is by making sure that the first time we implement each of these facets of interaction, that they be for a G-dly purpose. Just as the beginning of the year holds within it the potential to influence the entire year, similarly do the first thoughts, speech and actions a person does in the morning have a strong effect on the entire day.

The Cherkasser and the Rebbe Reb Motele emphasize the importance of the power of thought; this is the "garment" that is activated first. Hence, it includes in some way even the first speech and action. Thought is also the innermost and most delicate of the "garments", the more "spiritual" of the three, and it therefore reaches a very high place. In Maor Einayim (Parshas Ki Seitzei), Rebbe Nachum Chernobyler likens Thought to the roof of a house. Just as the main part of a house is its roof, so too Thought is the main part of the person, as it covers and protects him. It is with Thought that one can resettle himself and refocus his attentions to that which is important to him, thereby maintaining relative calm and conviction at all times. The Maor Einayim then applies this idea to the mitzvah of ma'akah, building a fence around one's roof to protect others from falling. On a simple level, one must build a fence around his Thought to prevent "fallen", destructive thoughts. The Rebbe, shlit"a, pointed out that the word "ma'akah" (מעקה), is an acronym for what the Talmud teaches (Yoma 29b) that "הרהורי עבירה קשין מעבירה", "thoughts of wrongdoing are more harsh than the aveira itself". Remembering that Thought has a more profound effect, and in a certain sense, reaches a higher place can serve as a powerful incentive to guard one's thoughts. We also know, as we have often heard the Rebbe shlit"a quote the Baal Shem Hakadosh, that where one's thoughts are is where the person himself is found.

Okay, we get the point. The tzadikim emphasized the first thoughts more than speech or action (not to belittle them, however, as we shall soon see) for a reason. Next time we will go over a quick summary of the particular thoughts that are brought and then, onward!

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