There were great tzaddikim who already spoke about the realm of the holy and the realm of the mundane and their manifestation in body and soul. However, in order to comprehend their words in the proper way, it is crucial that we grow and become sanctified with Hashem’s holiness. Otherwise, it is possible to make the terrible mistake of blurring the lines between the holy and the mundane amidst a destructive confusion of priorities. The essential point is being able to value each thing in relation to all other elements. This will allow for the investment and cultivation of each element in fitting measure. Therefore, it isn’t simply enough to say that there is value in both holiness as well as in mundanity. Rather, there needs to be the proper respect and precise measure in accordance with Hashem’s calculation, the Torah’s criterion, which is the mystery of “Daas” and a trustworthy measure.

This calculation can only come about amidst awesome purity and wondrous cleaving to Hashem. For, in order to unify between the holy and the mundane, the mundane must be viewed as flowing forth from the realm of holiness, and in order for us to see the holiness within the mundanity of this world, we need to be pure of heart, refined in our actions, guarded against all impurity and filth. For the blemishes of impurity and lowly appetites cloud our eyes and prevent the heart from being able to see the light within corporeality, leaving the flesh to prevail; “Kasnos Or,” “Garments of Skin.” (Bereishis 3:21) Within these garments of skin, the holiness of the soul is unable to manifest, and all she can do is request an allowance of sustenance from the King in the days of her exile.

Without a fresh return to the streams of Penimiyus HaTorah, without a true and vibrant connection with Hashem, we will have cheated and uprooted the holy bonds that bridge our bodies and souls, and the glow of the neshama is unable to manifest and illuminate the horizon of our physical existence. Our position will remain one of exile, one in which the soul flutters in the air, without discovering a place to rest her feet on the ground.

The approach that seeks to interpolate holiness and mundanity in a way of “neighborliness”, the drawing of boundaries in such a way that one will not bother the other, has not yet touched upon the inner meaning of the matter; “this is neither the way nor the city” (Melachim II, 19:6) For a mighty life-force, the light of the Shechinah, is our lives and the length of our days; the inner spring found within all levels of life, and with Her strengthening and prosperity, everything is elevated. In order to attain this awesome level, we need to increase the Torah and magnify it in a life of vibrant cleaving to Hashem, filled with the light of ahavas Hashem and yiras Shomayim – the bonds of life which illuminate the horizon of this world and sanctify it with the holiness of Hashem’s holy and elevated Name.

Rav Reuven Sasson
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