Acharei Mot / Kedoshim 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Acharei Mot / Kedoshim 12 Iyar, 5761 May 5, 2001

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One of the teachings in this week’s Parshiot is the secret to soft breaking!

Well, I got your attention. Now let’s see what I’m talking about.

We learn v’ahavta l’ray’acha kamo’cha, which we usually translate as “love your neighbor as yourself”. Rabbi Leo Jung (a major figure in Modern Orthodoxy in the 20th century and my Rabbi when I was growing up) often taught us to pause after the first two words. This often-quoted verse would then mean, “Love your neighbor, for he is like you.” To explain, you can’t always love your neighbor when he leaves the garbage on your property or if he plays music too loud. But you can look deeper and see that he is like you in many ways, particularly on the deepest level he is a divine spark of Hashem’s light and so is part of Hashem and part of you!

Admittedly, that can be a pretty hard task when you have a friend or neighbor who is not exactly a model citizen. It would mean seeing him in a light that is totally opposite from what you see. But that is what Hashem is asking us to do to see something on a deeper level that may make it appear opposite from its more mundane appearance.

A few decades ago (wow, that sounds like a lot of years) I visited TaShih at his summer bungalow. At that time, no one else had done a soft break in the style, only he. I had tried and not succeeded. So I asked him how it was done. He replied cryptically, “Love the stone!”

I admit it took a while for me to understand that lesson (one several different levels) and a little while longer to apply it… but I did. Moreover, I discovered it was the core of hard breaking, Kata, and energy healing as well. Let me offer you one of those levels of understanding that may help.

Love is not an emotion; it’s an energy. It is the core energy of all that is, one of Hashem’s building blocks for existence. It is what you and I – and the stone – are made of.

The stone is not your enemy. It is kamo’cha, just like you. In the right state of mind and spirit, you know and feel that closeness, that one-ness. Try “tuning in” to the stone and ask it to split, not as your enemy, but as a part of you that you love. You never know!

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.

"Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years.

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