Hidden Things The human personality is one of unfathomable depth.

Our behavior is fueled not merely by the cherished Torah values and ideals which we strive to cultivate, but profoundly driven by an intricate labyrinth of powerful desires, fears, hopes, and sources of shame. Naturally, we are only aware of a small fraction of these inner forces at any given point in time. Who amongst us does not immediately identify with Yirmiyahu’s lament, ‘the heart is contorted amongst all things…who can truly know it?1 It is certainly fair to say that this inner complexity presents a formidable challenge towards engaging in penetrating, transformative ‫תשובה‬. After all, if our aim is not merely towards behavior modification, but to something much deeper2, we are surely constrained by our own limitations of self-awareness. With this challenge in mind, we turn our attention to a celebrated verse in this week’s sedra; “That which is hidden is unto Hashem our God, and that which is revealed is for us, and our children, for all eternity, to fulfill all the words of the Torah.”3 Nachmanides4, eschewing the classical Talmudic interpretation5 which maintains that this verse concerns Jewish co-dependence, arvut, sets off on a breathtaking interpretation, which ought to offer us no small measure of consolation. Indeed, he writes, that which is hidden from us about ourselves, is truly unto Hashem. Much of what we do, and if I might add, much of the motivation for what we do, remains hidden from us. In the words of David HaMelech, “who comprehends his own unintentional sins; Oh, God, cleanse me of that which is hidden.”6 Despite our best efforts, we can never fully plumb the depths of our own personalities. God recognizes this, and offers forgiveness for those things that will always remain beyond our psychic grasp. Yet, if that which is hidden is, as far as forgiveness and rehabilitation is concerned, ‘unto Hashem’, we are left with the stirring charge to address all of that which is ‘revealed’. As we find ourselves preparing for ‫ יום הדין‬the order of the day. Fully conscious of the limits of our own self-understanding, we look to do that which we can do; to search out our shortcomings, and to confront them with the brutal honesty that is sine qua non for teshuvah. At whichever point our descent into the depths of our own hearts runs out of steam, we will be met, with abundant mercy, by He who is
.‫יג עקב הלב מעל ואנש הוא מי ידענו‬:‫ ירמיהו יז‬1 ‫ שיש חיוב לא רק לשוב מן המעשים אלא שיש חיוב‬,‫ עיין רמב'ם הלכות תשובה פרק ז‬2 .‫ באיזה צד‬,‫ שדעות הרעות חמורים מן המעשים‬,‫ ועוד יותר‬,‫לחפש בדעות הרעות‬ ‫כט הנסתרות לה' אלוקינו והנגלות לנו ולבנינו עד עולם לעשות את כל דברי‬:‫ דברים כח‬33 .‫התורה הזאת‬ 4 ‫ פירוש רמב'ן על התורה‬,‫עיין שם‬. 5 5 ,‫ רוב הפרשנים‬.‫ ר' יהודה ור' נחמיה‬,‫ במחלוקת תנאים‬:‫עיין תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין מג‬ ,‫ לכאורה‬,‫ אבל עיין חזקוני‬,‫ פסקו לקולא כמו ר' נחמיה‬,‫ אבן עזרא ורשבם‬,‫כולל רש'י‬ ‫שפסק אליבא דר' יהודה שיש אחריות ציבורי גם בנסתרות‬. 6 ‫ יג שגיאות מי יבין מנסתרות נקני‬:‫תהילים יט‬.

‫ חוקר לב בוחן כליות‬, searcher of hearts.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful