Monday, June 11, 2007
Tying One's Self to Hashem - Meor Einayim - B'ha'aloscha
The Meor Einayim explains, in Parshas B'ha'aloscha, the meaning of "שכר מצוה מצוה," "The reward of a mitzva is a mitzva" (Avos 4:2). He says that the point of the mitzvos is to cleave one's self to Hashem through the Mitzva. And that this is the deeper meaning of the Mishna in Avos, "שכר מצוה מצוה." The reward of a mitzva is the "mitzva," from the root word meaning "tzavsa," or "rope." the purpose and deeper meaning of each mitzva is to tie one's self to Hashem through that mitzva.
This is further seen by the fact that the word mitzva also contains Hashem's name. The "vav hei" at the end of the word mitzva, are of course the last two letters of Hashem's four-letter name. But the "mem tzadik" at the beginning are equivalent to the "yud hei" of Hashem's name in the At Bash form of gematria. Why is the "yud hei" of Hashem's name encoded as "mem tzadik" in At Bash, instead of being revealed like the "vav hei?" The Chernobyler explains that each mitzva has two aspects. There's the body, the revealed part of the mitzva. That's the "vav hei" of the word mitzva. And then there's the hidden part of the mitzva, the neshoma of the mitzva, which is hidden. And therefore the letters "yud hei," which represent the neshoma, the life-essence of the mitzva, the hidden part of the mitzva, are hidden as "mem tzadik" in At Bash.
Our avoda when doing any mitzva or learning torah is not only involve ourselves in the body, the physical aspect of the mitzva by physically doing the mitzva. It is also to have kavanah to connect ourselves to the neshoma of the mitzva, its inner essence. And that inner essence of each mitzva is Hashem, Himself. When one does a mitzva, while connecting the body of the mitzva, the physical action, with the neshoma of the mitzva, Hashem, then he makes a unification between the body and the soul, and by extension creates unifications on many levels. However, if one does a mitzva with no intention at all, it is like creating a body without any soul.
That is the meaning, then, of "שכר מצוה מצוה." The reward of a mitzva is the connection with Hashem (Tzavsa), and this is hinted at in the word mitzva in another way because mitzva = Shem Hashem ("yud hei" in At Bash + "vav hei"). So the reward of a mitzva is the connection with the essence of the mitzva, which is Hashem. And there can be no greater reward than that.