Parashat Ha'azinu

The Heavens & Earth Bear Witness

Nature can tell us a lot about our ethical and spiritual situation.

Print this page Print this page

Achieving Harmony

Our awareness of the environment reveals to us, then, an additional layer of significance to the testimony of Heaven and Earth. It is a direct testimony--not miraculous, but one whose source lies in the structure of the natural world that lies before us. The world itself bears witness to the character of the society that inhabits it.

A spiritual response must therefore be directed not only to the Heavens above, but also to the Earth below, and must be expressed not only in keeping the mitzvot and remaining loyal to the Divine covenant, but also in remaining loyal to the world designed by the Creator.

By so doing, we will be fulfilling a twofold objective. We will protect the world designed by the Creator, and will fulfill His commandment from the beginning of Creation to take responsibility for the world's character and to ensure that it can fulfill its own purpose.

The second objective is the harmony that will be created between our spiritual world and the real world in which we live. This harmony is what will allow us to build a world whose external framework and internal content both express exactly the same idea. It is then that Heaven and Earth will bear witness to the deep process of teshuvah and tikkun--repentance and repair--that we are engaged in, while serving as a barometer that reflects our spiritual and moral character.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Hesder Petach Tikva, is a graduate of Yeshivat Har Etzion and a retired major in the IDF. Rabbi Cherlow was amongst the founders of the Tzohar Foundation, a central Modern Orthodox foundation which works to build bridges between the religious and secular worlds.