Friday, August 4, 2017

The Two Parts Of Man As They Relate To Mitzvos

לע"נ סבי ר' אלכסנדר זושא בן ר' יוסף 

We find a concept of ברב עם הדרת מלך - doing it together with others, with respect to tefillah and mitzvos but not regarding Talmud Torah. When someone wants to think deeply, he looks for a quite space where he can be by himself. What is the root of this dichotomy that with regard to עבודה שבלב of tefilla there is a special inyan to perform it with many others while in the עבודת השכל of learning there is no such inyan??

It all goes back to the creation of the world. Animals were created למינו and למינהו - as a species but not as individuals. Only Man was created as a singular individual. Animals have middos [the gemara says that had the Torah not been given we could have learned middos from various animals, tzniyus from cats etc.] but not intellect. Only man was endowed with intellect. 

Within man there are also two parts - the more animal-like part of man which are his middos [as we said - animals have middos] and the man-within-man of man [I speak generically. Women included] which is his intellect.

So when it comes to the middos like עבודה שבלב - the service of the heart of tefillah, we look to perform it למינהו - en masse [if you will excuse my French]. But when it comes to the man-within-man of the intellectual exercises of learning, we seek to perform it as individuals.

[עפ"י פחד יצחק שבועות עמ' צ"א - צ"ב]