The Music of Halacha: A Lasting Impact: Part Two
“ In The Music of Halacha: A Lasting Impact: Part One,” we examined Rashi’s approach to the lasting impact of what we do as parents and in our Service of God. Let us turn to the Rambam, as explained by the Avnei Nezer:
The Rambam has different definitions of the Talmudic expression, “Work that endures.” In general, ‘work that endures’ means what is says, something that is intended to last. It doesn’t have to last forever, but the intention must be to do something so that it will be permanent, such as stitching a thread of linen to one of wool. A stitch is intended to last.
However, ‘work that endures’ has a different definition in the context of the Shabbat laws. The work must last for the remainder of the Shabbat. It is as if time exists on a different plane on Shabbat. Something that lasts for one Shabbat, which is a ‘Taste of Olam Habah,’ eternity, lasts in its way forever.
When we approach something with the awareness of the eternal impact of our actions, words and thoughts, we step into a different dimension of time. The moment itself defines “lasting.”
A parent who does everything he must without awareness of the magical effect of everything he does for his child, will define ‘work that endures’ by the length of time it lasts. The child won’t remember the changed diapers or sleepless nights. The work will not endure.
A parent who appreciates each parental effort as an eternal moment will find all her efforts qualifying as ‘work that endures.’
The same idea is certainly true of each moment in our Service of God. When we approach the action rather than the moment we lost the lasting impact. When we approach each Mitzvah, prayer, and word of Torah, as unique, an eternal moment, we will find that all our work endures.