You can compare the words of the Torah to water. Flowing water always remains, and so do the words of the Torah. Water is one, if not, the most important thing a human being needs to live. Without food you’ll last for a while, but without water you won’t. We in Mishle/ Proverbs 4:22
כִּֽי־חַיִּ֣ים הֵ֭ם לְמֹצְאֵיהֶ֑ם וּֽלְכׇל־בְּשָׂר֥וֹ מַרְפֵּֽא׃
They are life for him who finds them,
healing for his whole body
Water refreshes the body and makes it healthy. So does Torah, it makes the soul healthy.
Just as water elevates a person from his state of uncleanness, Torah also elevates man from a state of uncleanness to a state of purity. As we read in Tehillim/Psalms 19:10
…יִרְאַ֤ת יְ”הֹוָ֨ה ׀ טְהוֹרָה֮ עוֹמֶ֢דֶת לָ֫עַ֥ד
The fear of Hashem purifies (man)
Just as water restores a person’s soul, so do the words of Torah restore a person’s soul and bring him back from a bad lifestyle to a good lifestyle. As we read in Tehillim/ Psalms 19:8
תּ֘וֹרַ֤ת יְ”הֹוָ֣ה תְּ֭מִימָה מְשִׁ֣יבַת נָ֑פֶשׁ עֵד֥וּת יְהֹוָ֥ה נֶ֝אֱמָנָ֗ה מַחְכִּ֥ימַת פֶּֽתִי׃
The Torah of Hashem is perfect,
and renews life;
And just as water is free and for everyone, so Torah is free and for everyone.
As we read in Yeshayahu/ Isaiah 5:1
…ה֤וֹי כׇּל־צָמֵא֙ לְכ֣וּ לַמַּ֔יִם וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵֽין־ל֖וֹ
Listen, all who are thirsty,
come for water,
even if you have no money;
When a person washes his own soul clean through Torah, walks his life path in the way of Torah, and thereby improves his character traits, then he is able to help others. Answering their questions, recognising and remedying their pain, then that person will be a channel through which the chesed of Torah flows to others.
It reminds me of the following story: at the end of a meeting, a judge asked Rav Moshe Feinstein the following personal question:
I understand that you are one of the greatest rabbis and that your opinions are widely respected in Jewish law. How does one achieve this status? Why do people listen to you?
Rav Moshe Feinstein explained: “Someone once came to me with a question, and he liked the answer I gave him. Then someone else came, and he too liked my answer. People soon heard that I gave good answers and good advice, so more and more people started coming.”
If you can give people answers that are based in the truth of the Torah then they will know. Wanting to help people, the chesed you want to give to people, will therefore increase in value enormously.
I myself experienced this when I became Bat Noach years ago.
At the time, there was 1 specific question that just couldn’t get any peace in my mind. I went to a pastor and to a rabbi with – basically – the same question. The pastor couldn’t/wouldn’t answer, the rabbi could. The words he spoke immediately touched my heart, and I knew they were the truth. Over the following weeks, he took all the time – gave me the chesed I needed – to leave Christianity behind and start this new path of life as Bat Noah.
Still every day I get to experience that there are people who pass on Torah from the heart, with sincere chesed. That the words I may learn from them will be the words I may pass on to others who have questions, or just need an ear to listen, or need advice. That Hashem may help me in this.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Sources: Loving Kindness – Chofets Chaim , Sefer Shemirat HaLashon – Chofets Chaim
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