‘Twas my father’s Yahrtzeit. We had gathered at his resting place to visit with him. A couple of Minyanim of grandsons milled around. And my sister turned to me commenting on which nephew looked “so much like Tatty”. What was weird is that we were able to point out a few of them that we would assume everyone would say were dead-ringers of my father — but they did not look like each other. How could that be, my sister and I wondered. She then tried explaining something she thought – that my father was a pure light and his teachings as it passed through us refracted into different color bands. Same ray of light. So each one looks like my father, but different from the other.
Then, I was learning Tanya. And something fascinating popped up. The Baal HaTanya is talking about Mayim — water –that Torah is compared to water. The way the holy author describes it is that spirituality-Gdliness like water always flows downwards.
Let me explain how I understand it now. G-d knowledge is at its source this surging, roaring waterfall, It flows downstream. It breaks into gushing streams and brooks. It pools into lakes that then trickle forth into sweet rills and rivulets. The landscape changes. The force of the water changes tunes a bit. But the water is there, it is the same water.
We stood at Har Sinai, our nation and we heard the words of G-d. We passed it along, generation to generations, the same G-d-centric deep, sweet water. The landscape has changed. The way we interface with it might be somewhat different – some placid, some burbling, some gushing.
So my friend, where does the water [Torah] flow in your mind and soul? Are a stream? A lake? Are you making sure your access point for the incoming water is not littered with debris and blockages, causing you to “dry out”? And are you making sure not to pollute the pure water that is streaming in from generations back?