…middle of painting “Aitz Chaim”. It seems that the artwork has become like Torah. Like life as a Jew. Have to bring myself to point where I choose a form of Mesirat Nefesh. In the heart, in the consciousness, there is a comfortable path. A path where many travel. A path of thought which is easy. Or at least not harder than one has become used to. Then, if you merit, you can see a harder path. To choose something that feels as if it will make life more difficult. Socially. Financially, physically (such as taking on more work—less sleep), spiritually. Any more difficult move. This is a form of mesiras nefesh. sometimes so much that it seems as if you give almost life itself. And Hashem gives you new life. And then you see that this new life too—should be sacrificed.
In this way we become more spiritual. Because Hashem always gives new life. And by giving away that which was previously held as precious—one becomes a new and better person from this. One who needs less for himself. One accustomed to giving more to others. The goal seems to be until one needs nothing for oneself. Therefore—not only: not holding a grudge, not feeling cheated, not feeling something is due in return, etc. rather: being able to be beyond self-concern; it is a very long process. And only can be done with intelligence, wisdom, and true fear of Hashem. It is not reckless. It is very hard. But the alternative becomes to feel nauseating. Thoughts of self-concern swimming around in one’s mind and heart all the time is nauseating when one becomes aware of it—and if one merits—one finds great energy to try anything to elevate oneself permanently beyond it. Every day one must start over. Because after a night’s sleep one is back at the beginning in the morning. But in every day’s work one gains a bit, and one advances.
כי לקח טוב נתתי לכם תורתי אל תעזבו. עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותמכיה מאשר. דרכי’ דרכי נעם וכל נתיבותי’ שלום
(משלי ד’ ב’, ג’:י”ח, ג:י”ז)
For I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake my Torah; It is a tree of life for those who grasp it, and its supporters are praiseworthy; Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace. (Proverbs 4:2; 3:18; 3:17)
Oil on canvas
ציור שמן על קנבס
150 cm. x 65 cm.