"You know, Hindy," Berachah said to her friend as they were walking home from school. "Ever since Lag BaOmer
, I've been thinking about something."
"What?" asked Hindy curiously.
"Well, you know the story about Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, how he and his son Eliezer hid in a cave and studied Torah."
"What about it?"
"I was thinking that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to live far away from everything and just study Torah. Everything would be much easier if we lived like they did. We wouldn't be involved with any gashmius, physical things, and we would be so holy and spiritual."
"But Berachah, you've got it all wrong!" exclaimed Hindy. "HaShem put us in this world and gave us the Torah so that we can obey it right here, living among people and worldly things. This way we bring the holiness of Torah into this world, and make all physical things holy.
"The Torah keeps reminding us about this. For example, this week's parshah begins with the words 'And HaShem spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai.' The words 'Mount Sinai' remind us what Torah is all about. Mountains are tall, higher than their surroundings. But Sinai was the lowest and smallest of the mountains. So there you have it - combining the high with the low, bringing the holiness of Torah down into this world."
"But that seems hard to do," insisted Berachah.
"Berachah," asked Hindy. "Do you study Pirkei Avos every Shabbos?"
"Sure," replied Berachah. "We read it together at Bnos on Shabbos afternoon."
"Well, we have a ladies' class in our house and I have to take care of the baby. That's why I don't go to Bnos. I'm busy, but I still get to hear some really interesting ideas. You know Pirkei Avos begins with the words, 'Moshe received the Torah from Sinai.' The woman leading the class asked: why does it say 'from Sinai'? It should have said at Sinai - Moshe received the Torah at Sinai." And this isn't the only place where it says this. Often we find the word miSinai - 'from Sinai.' "
"So why does it say from Sinai?" Berachah wanted to know.
"To encourage people like you," laughed Hindy. "People think it's so hard to combine that which is holy and spiritual with the physical and worldly. But we get the ability and power to do just that from Sinai - from the special events that took place when the holy Torah was brought down into our everyday world."
(Adapted from Likkutei Sichos, Vol. I, p. 246-247)