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Shlach(Numbers 13-15)

One Step At a Time

And they shall place upon the tzitzis of each corner a thread of turquoise wool. (Num. 15:38)

The weekly Torah portion concludes with the commandment of tzitzis, the commandment that helps one focus on his duties to God. As the Rabbis explain, the blue strand of wool reminds one of the ocean which is blue, which then reminds one of the sky, which is reminiscent of God's throne of glory. The question is why we need all these steps. We should put some resemblance of God on the tzitzis and go straight to the top. With all these steps we might never get to the top - we'll lose focus along the way!

As a baby matures it goes through various stages: turning over, sitting up, crawling and finally walking. Many times, if the baby goes straight from the sitting stage to walking, they'll still teach it how to crawl. Any stage that it misses can greatly affect its capabilities later on in life. Every stage the baby goes through is necessary in developing another part of the brain.

The Torah is teaching us that the same concept exists in spirituality. Growth needs to be systematic. One needs to go through every stage, step by step, until he can get to the top. In every stage he develops skills which are needed to make him a complete person.

Quite often one gets inspired and wants to become great overnight. In order for it to really last, a person needs to move at slow increments until each step becomes a part of him. For example, if he wants to improve his prayer and have stronger concentration, he needs to start with one small segment until he masters it, then moving on, as opposed to trying to master the whole thing at once. Growth is made up of lots of small steps, eventually leading to greatness.

Published: May 26, 2013

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