A Torah Minute: A Jog Turned G-dly

By Rabbi Moshe Katz

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Summer is finally here!
… I was once jogging through a park and started thinking.
About what?
Isn’t it obvious?
The Garden of Eden!
… Adam is placed in the Garden of Eden. Spiritual Paradise.
We’re told that G-d planted trees in the garden.
“Trees that were pleasant to look at and good to eat.” (Genesis: 2:9)
It’s interesting.
Trees that produce fruit? That makes sense.
Even in the Garden of Eden you need to eat!
(And Jews always want to know what’s on the menu).
But trees that were pleasant to look at? Nice scenery?
What are they doing in the Garden of Eden?
Is G-d an interior decorator?
… It’s a very important message.
Beautiful trees do belong in the Garden of Eden.
Because beauty in the world serves a spiritual purpose.
G-d could have created a very boring world.
Could have made every day look like a cloudy day in London!
But He didn’t.
He surrounded us with amazing beauty.
Whether it’s a sunset or a starry sky. The ocean or the Grand Canyon. Or even a flower.
When we look at them we have a certain feeling.
It’s spiritual. Our soul is moved.
We see the harmony and beauty in the world.
And we sense that there is a Creator. A G-d.
That the beauty that surrounds us is a special gift from Him.
It’s like He’s hugging us!
… Back to my jog through the park!
No. It was not the Grand Canyon. Not even a well-known park.
But what beautiful scenery G-d provided!
… I noticed a fellow who has one of those “summer jobs”.
Picking up the pieces of litter in the park.
Very menial. Very monotonous. And very low paying!
And I said to myself.
‘Enough “thinking” about G-d!
There’s something G-d wants us to do when we feel uplifted.
He wants us to try to emulate Him. To try to be G-dly.
By lifting the spirits of someone else!”
So as I approached the “cleanup guy”?
I slowed down a bit. Smiled. And said…
“Thank you very much”!
… We may not be able to raise his pay.
But we can raise his spirits!

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