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Spiritual Tools: Chazon Ish: Tzitzit & Wisdom

In honor of the Yahrtzeit (15th Cheshvan) of Rav Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the Chazon Ish (1878-1953). Educated by his father, the Av Beis Din in Kosova, Poland (near Grodno)), his first work on several parts of the Shulchan Aruch was published anonymously in Vilna in 1911 under the title “Chazon Ish,” by which name he became known. He moved to Vilna about 1920 and moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1933, settling in Bnei B’rak. Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisrael, he devoted vast amounts of time and energy to Seder Zeraim, which deals mainly with laws pertaining to the land, to answer the many halachic problems inherent to a life in the Holy Land consistent with Torah.

“One whose wisdom is greater than his actions, will lose his wisdom.” Each wisdom that a person acquires forms a connection with his soul. The soul takes pleasure in the wisdom, and the wisdom sends forth its roots into the heart, and those connections are expressed as love.

When a person experiences such love of wisdom, he is able to understand what is real and to reject the distractions and emptiness of the mundane.

There are unholy spiritual viruses that poison this love and break the connection between the person and his wisdom. The only connections that can withstand the assault are the wisdoms that are translated into action.

Therefore, one whose actions are more numerous than his wisdom will be able to keep his wisdom. One who does not translate his wisdom nto action will soon lose those connections.

This is the secret of the knots of the Tzitzit – they symbolize the wisdom that has been wrapped around the soul of the person through action, that leads to permanent knots – connections – that cannot be broken. (Letters of the Chazon Ish, Volume 1:10)

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