11 July 2011

Lot, lotto, lottery

The verse “through lot shall the Land be apportioned” (Numbers 26:55) speaks about the allocation and distribution of the Land of Israel. Spiritually, it  will be understood through a statement of the Alter Rebbe that every Jew has a specific mitzvah with which he or she is uniquely connected on the soul level. 
This matter is above reason and understanding and is like a lottery which has a connotation of being above the natural order of things. And if the evil inclination is opposing a certain mitzvah, it’s a sign that this specific mitzvah needs to be performed carefully and meticulously. Just as this concept exists spiritually, it also applies physically in the sense that at every moment and in every place there’s something that needs rectification. 
According to many Rishoinim, the idea of a lottery connotes refining and making a clear identification as to what belongs to whom to the extent that no additional support is required. Likewise, this applies in spirituality where one’s specific service is uniquely suited to his/her soul. And if a person is experiencing difficulties in performing certain commandments, that’s an indication that they must wage war with their evil inclination. Nevertheless, what to do is made known to him/her in  a manner of a lottery (i.e. direct indication, transfer) and all that remains is accept an ownership over whatever that may be.
 From a sicha at the Farbrengen of 12 Tammuz, 5717 (1957)

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