A Lesson In Boundries

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui


The Bible says, “You should not move back your neighbor’s boundary” marker, to commit territorial fraud, by encroaching and stealing from his territory. In the broader sense this commandment includes invading into someone else’s territory for your own benefit, from which he earns a livelihood. This is a form of thievery.

Like all commandments in the bible that relate to this physical world, there is a parallel and corresponding scenario in the spiritual realm, in our service and worship of G-d.

In life the choice is only, between “See! I am giving to you today a blessing and a curse …I have set before you (a choice of) life or death, blessing or curse, Choose life!” It is either good or bad.  Different degrees of white or black with no gray at all in our personal and individual selection.

Yet, our world can be divided into three frontiers. There are the boundaries of what is good, bad and neutral, neither good nor bad. Good, is everything we are directed to do. This is the domain of G-dliness and holiness, since G-d in His full glory is the source of all that is good. Bad, darkness and evil belong to the area of everything that is forbidden to do and/or be connected with.

In the middle of all this is the mundane which cannot be classified as bad since they aren’t forbidden but can’t either be classified as good since they aren’t in the territory  of what we are expected and commanded to partake in.

The choice and option is, to deliberately use this middle ground for the good and holiness, as an accessory for G-dliness, or as a support and grounds for evil, and things that are forbidden.

The healthy approach, is to have all boundaries marked and identified clearly. We don’t want to mistake what can harm us for good, or deny ourselves the positive and helpful possibilities by disregarding and overlooking the good.

Even when the boundaries of good and bad are clear, confusion and a lack of clarity can sometimes, for some people, set in regarding this middle ground and then the problem of encroaching and moving the boundaries incorrectly and wrongly, can set in!

The “good” life, real happiness in its fullest sense is the result of receiving an uninhibited flow of G-dly energy. “G-d created the person straightforward, but it is they that have pursued deviousness”. The world created by G-d is extraordinarily beautiful, and within these boundaries all is well.

The bad must also receive G-dly energy, otherwise it would never come into being and certainly not survive. Evil contains a very small and limited, intensely toned down form of G-dliness. Therefore in the domain of what’s forbidden, things may appear exciting on the surface, however, they barely exist in any meaningful way.

When a person enters the domain of the mundane and the neutral with no specific intention to harness it for the good, or worse yet to serve and fulfill self-indulgent impulses, thinking there is nothing really bad in doing so, he has then blurred the boundaries of the holiness and good. He has dragged into the domain of good what is otherwise mundane, and allowed for the mundane to imbibe from a territory it is not entitled to.

The biggest problem with this, is that the next border over, of bad and evil, comes closer into view. The bad and all that’s wrong begins to appears as if it is in the boundary of the mundane and the neutral  and doesn’t appear that far off in the distance and in this new view, isn’t  really all that bad.


To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com

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