The Nazir of the Month
In this week’s פרשה, the תורה discusses the מצוה of being a נזיר. A נזיר restricts himself for a period of time from wine and is careful about becoming impure. We understand that committing oneself to this lofty lifestyle for life would be very praiseworthy. But what is the purpose of being a נזיר for such a limited time?
The אבן עזרא explains that the whole world is enslaved to the pleasures of this world and the true king is one who is unshackled from them. A נזיר is truly a king! We are used to thinking the more we are able to enjoy ourselves, the better off we are. In reality it’s the opposite. One who is dependent on pleasures to live life is enslaved to his pleasures. The more we get used to pleasures, the more we are enslaved. The נזיר who limits himself from these worldly pleasures, albeit for a short period of time, demonstrates he isn’t enslaved and is the true king.
How does one find the strength to go through life without depending on the world’s pleasures? The משנה in אבות says: 'שאין לך בן חורין אלא מי שעוסק בתלמוד תורה' - Only those that are busy with the study of תורה are considered free. תורה study brings a person back to his roots and reinforces his independence. When one busies himself with the study of תורה, he is truly free and will not be dependent on the world’s pleasures.
We have just experienced שבועות. We felt freedom. Let us strengthen ourselves in the study of תורה and remain truly free!