Love of the Land

For the week ending 24 June 2006 / 28 Sivan 5766

Avot

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“The world was created with ten statements. What lesson does the Torah communicate by telling us that it took ten statements by G-d when one would have sufficed? The wicked will be punished for destroying a world created with ten statements, while the righteous will be rewarded for preserving a world created with ten statements.” — (Avot 5:1)

The message of the Torah’s account of the creation of the world with ten statements is that the world and everything in it are most precious to their Creator. When a man’s sin brings about the Heavenly retribution of destruction of his property he is guilty of spoiling something beloved by G-d. He therefore deserves to be punished for this as well.

When, on the other hand, one’s righteousness not only sustains the world but also serves as a catalyst for a blessing of greater prosperity, he is fulfilling the Will of his Creator and will receive another reward for receiving a reward.

This is what an earlier Mishna (Avot 4:2) means by the statement: “The reward for a mitzvah is in itself also a mitzvah: the retribution suffered for a sin is in itself sinful”.

  • Tiferet Yisrael

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