What do you see in the ring?

Monday, 29 May, 2017 - 6:23 am

Dear Friends,

“When you look at this ring, what do you see?” That is what R. Mendel Futerfas asked Rabbi Shabtai Selvitzky from Antwerp, who was then a young man, engaged to be married. “Well,” said Shabtai, “I see a round piece of yellow metal.” R. Mendel was not satisfied, and asked again: “What do you see in the ring?” The young bridegroom looked again and said, “A smooth and beautiful piece of gold jewelry.” R. Mendel was still not satisfied, and said: “You don’t see the main thing. The main part of the ring is the free space inside it. The ring teaches you that the best piece of advice for married life is to be willing to give the other person space, to listen, to be able to contain.”

Chazal (our Sages) in tractate Ta’anit said about the Giving of the Torah, that it was the Jewish People’s wedding day – the day they married the Creator. When we are once again preparing ourselves to receive the Torah on Shavuot, which will be like remarrying Hashem, it would be good to remember the ring and the free space that is part of it. Because the best way to receive the Torah that is being given us is to come to it with humility and purity, a willingness to listen and to contain – to be an empty, free space.

That way, we will be able to receive the Torah with joy and Pnimiyus – its deep, internal aspects.


Chag Same’ach!


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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