The Ark Carries Those Who Carry It
by Rabbi Avraham Brussel
Rabbi Avraham Brussel is the principal of Rinat Tzippora. He was born in Boston and learned at Ner Israel in Baltimore. He received Smicha from the Rav of Yesodot, and was a Rebbi in Yeshiva Orchot Chaim for several years.
The midrash tells us that when the Torah was given on the sixth of Sivan, the earth was terrified. The creation of the world was not finished on the sixth day of creation. It was only partially completed. It was left, that first Erev Shabbat, a clump of raw material, waiting to be shaped and developed and given final form. Like a man at the age of eighteen, his body may be fully grown but his moral and spiritual stature are still undeveloped, so the world stood that fateful day. It was not until the sixth of Sivan, when the Torah was given, that the world would receive its final form. But the sixth day of Sivan was different from the sixth day of creation. No one had to accept the creation of the physical world. G-d created the world weather we liked it or not. But the development of that world was left up to man’s choice. Hashem asked mankind, if it wants the world to attain this state of perfection. G-d said to man, “If you want to develop your humanity, so I will give you the means to do so, but if you do not, I will not.” The earth understood this and was left fearful. My teacher, R Shlomo Brevda once said to me, that if we could ever hear the shouts of the rocks in the earth, shouting out to be used by man for some higher purpose, we would not be able to bear it. Everything in this world, from the bush that grows from the crack in a wall, to the tallest tree, everything calls out to man, “Use me of I will have been created in vain,” and man does not respond or listen to their cries. It was only when the Jewish people took upon themselves to accept the Torah and to keep it under the most trying circumstances, it was only then that the earth relaxed, confident that there would be someone in the world that would use the earth properly and not misuse it. One can ask, however, why was the earth so happy. Even though the Jewish people accepted the Torah, on the sixth day, what guarantee was there to the earth that they would keep it? The Ramchal writes in Messilat Yesharim that only an angel cannot want to take revenge on a man who has abused him. To a person of flesh and blood revenge is sweeter than honey, yet the Torah asks us not to take revenge. The Ramban says that no normal man can love another as he loves himself, yet that is what we accepted upon ourselves to do, and not just in the best of times. We accepted upon ourselves to love others under intense oppression, in the barracks of Aushwitz and on the trains to Treblinka. How could we accept such a thing upon ourselves and why was the earth so confident that we would be able to keep our words of acceptance. The answer is that the ark carries those who carry it. True we are small beings spiritually, with a limited capacity for love or self sacrifice. But the Torah is from Hashem and its capacities are infinite. In the Torah is contained the infinite nature of G-ds love. It is contained in the words of the |Torah itself, where it is written “Love your neighbor.” If a person reaches out to grab onto it, to try to keep it, so then the Torah itself will create a different human being.it will give a man capacities that in truth he never had. This is what the earth realized and this is what we realized when we accepted the Torah on the sixth of Sivan and completed G-ds creation of the world. May we merit to once again accept the Torah on the sixth of Sivan.