Section: Parshas HaShavua   Category: Life Lessons
Parshas Titzaveh: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder... For All The Wrong Things

The Rebbe Rav Henich of Alexander once said, "When I was once in the presence of a certain tzaddik for an extended period, the closer I became to him the less attracted I became. However when I came to Kotzk the longer I stayed, and the more I observed the Rebbe's holy ways, the more my esteem for him rose and the more I was awed by him."

Many of us can relate to the prior and few of us are fortunate enough to have experienced the latter. But I can tell you first hand that there are still people today that you can spend a great deal of time with, and not only does the initial awe not wear off, but it grows daily. You find yourself being transformed from confidant and friend to humble nothing constantly in awe of the great man.
This is the hallmark of a truly great person. We who have not come close to this level cannot fathom the greatness and as it slowly becomes revealed before our eyes through our closeness, and you find the gap widening by the day, through the constant deeper understanding of his greatness.

This same pattern follows with everything in this world. Good, and all things that bring eternal life, are obstructed by the Yetzer Hara who makes true goodness look less appealing from afar, and employs every means at his disposal to make sure we never get close enough to see the truth. Worldly pleasures however are all dressed up to appeal to us. Yet, as we get closer, they lose their appeal and the happiness we hoped to achieve ultimately eludes us.

Hashem tells us (Titzaveh 29:45), "V'Shachanti Bisoch Bnei Yisrael V'Hayisi Lahem Leilokim; I will dwell among Bnei Yisrael, and unlike other deities such as wealth and honor, I will not lose My appeal as time goes on." On the contrary, by coming even closer to Hashem we will respect and cherish Him more.