Raw materials. Chomer. The mud from which man was created. It is almost identical a word to the word Chamor which means a donkey. Or ass, if you will.
Not for no reason.
Let us go look at something fascinating. Avraham is given a huge test — that of the Akayda. The thing that Abraham does is “Va’yachbosh” he puts the saddle on his Chamor — on his donkey. Literal meaning — he doesn’t use a horse, he has a donkey, and he saddles the donkey. More intense meaning, in order to be fully spiritual, Avraham takes the reins of his Chamor/Chomer – he doesn’t let his physical needs/desires/matter be the one in control. Avraham, the spiritual master, harnesses his body to serve the soul’s Creator.
Avraham sets out on the journey. With him are some younger men. One is Yitzchok. As they near the spot of spirituality, Abraham senses and sees spirituality. So does Yitzchok. The other guys see nothing other than a scenic, physical view. Therefore, (chapter 22, verse 5) Avraham decides only he and Yitzchok will continue onward and he instructs the others “Shevoo Lachem Poh ihm Ha’chamor” – you guys stay here, sit on your rears, here with the donkey.
A person who has no sense of spirituality likes sitting, likes to not have to forge new paths. He is stuck there with his Chomer/Chamor, with just the raw materials from which he was made — mud. Gulp. Stuck in the rut of human limitations. While the man of spirit goes beyond.
If you look at what the Chamor says in Perk Shira, it brays something that David HaMelech said as his last blessing to Hashem in public. The donkey brays, “Lecha Hashem Hagedoolah…”. To G-d is the greatness — and the strength, and the splendor, the triumph and the glory… “. Without aspiring to a connection with G-d, we are left just mere donkeys. It is when we realize the greatness of G-d, when we take our physicality and use it to serve Him, that is when we go from mere asses to exalted beings.
That might be one of the messages we take into Sukkot this year. We put up the boards, mere “chomer”, raw walls and thatched roof. Not much, really. Will it go beyond the Chomer? Well, that is then up to you. Can you sense the spirituality? Will you travel towards it and fulfill it with guests, ushpizin and mitzvos?
Don’t ever sit in a rut with mere Chomer.