Zot Habracha - Essential Tools for Life

and all the strong hand, and all the great awe, which Moses performed before the eyes of all Israel.
 וּלְכֹל הַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וּלְכֹל הַמּוֹרָא הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה משֶׁה לְעֵינֵי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל
Devarim 34:12

These are the last words of the Torah, and the Slonimer Rebbe asks what profound secrets does the Torah have to impart with these closing words?
The Slonimer Rebbe in The Netivot Shalom says we can extract a special message for our lives in these words. By taking the phrase 'before the eyes of all Israel' (לעיני כל ישראל) and taking just the first letters of these words, we get the word 'כלי' with is an instrument or tool.

Tools for Life

What are these essential tools? The Slonimer Rebbe says that we can look into this verse for the answer. When we take the the last letter of the last word (ישראל) of the Torah - Lamed (ל) - and combine it with the first letter of the first word (בראשית) of the Torah - Bet (ב) - then you get the word 'heart' (לב).

Looking deeper into this word, we see another tool in the word 'before the eyes' (לעיני), referring to the eye.

So we find these two essential tools, eye and heart embedded in the last verse in the Torah.

Important Character Traits

We  see that the importance of these tools is further substantiated in the a Mishna in Avot.
[Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai] said to them: Go and see which is the best trait for a person to acquire. Said Rabbi Eliezer ben Hirkenos: A good eye. ... Said Rabbi Elazar ben Arach: A good heart. 
Pirkei Avot 2:34
In responding to request to see what is the best trait to acquire, one responds with 'a good eye' and the other responds with 'a good heart'. 

Eye and Heart

In the material world, the heart is the source of life for man. Likewise the eye is also like life, as it says in Nedarim (64A) 'the blind are considered like the dead'. So for the spiritual realm, the eye and the heart are  the essential keys to spiritual life.

These tools can also be used for bad, as it is said  "the eye sees and the heart lusts, and the tool finishes." 

When these are used for good, then the eye will always try to see the good side in others and in one's life, seeing how Hashem has been good. This makes the first step in man's journey to perfection having a good eye.

Likewise, if we can see the good in others then all the more so a good heart will please and satisfy.  Seeing the good side of things and people in the world is the key to a good life for man, and all the more so will make us happy and satisfied with the heavenly role in the world.

Happy with Your Lot

The characteristic of being satisfied with your lot is an amazing trait that can work wonders on one's heart and outlook. This trait both brings a person into this world, and into the world to come.

Therefore the KLI (כלי) - instrument - encoded in this verse is to have a good eye and a good heart. These are the essential traits that the Torah communicates to us, encoding them into the final passage of the Torah.

Finally, the Slonimer Rebbe parts with encouraging words that as we close up the period of the holidays we should hold onto the message of this final holiday, Sukkot/Shemini Atzeret. In the prayers this is not just called a holiday, but a time of happiness (זמן שמחתינו). We should take with us into this new year, this essential concept of happiness, instilling happiness in everything we do.

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