From the 613 mitzvos, the commandments, that we are privileged to have, there are six that stand out from all the rest. The vast majority are contingent on time or specific circumstances. These six share a unique quality – they are CONSTANT. There is no outside factor giving rise to the obligation. They are upon us always. When we are awake, sleeping, eating, playing ball, working, or driving carpool. Six principles of G-d awareness.
How is this possible? I can barely remember the 6 items I need to buy in the supermarket – Am I really going to remember six constant G-dly principles?!
Let me tell you a story…
I remember when I learned how to drive. I was so excited. Driving a car is a teenager’s dream and I couldn’t wait. At the first lesson, the instructor showed us how everything worked: blinkers, mirrors, gears, the lights on the dashboard, checking signs and traffic lights.
There was so much going on. How was I going to remember everything I had to do?
When it was my turn to drive- I made sure everyone was silent so I can remember everything.
But something amazing happened. A few weeks after I got my license, I got the hang of it. In no time, I was driving, playing with the radio, drinking a cup of coffee and talking on the phone at the same time (of course with my hands free device).
How did that happen?
I’d like to discuss the concept of awareness.
There are things that we learn in life that, after time we can shift into our subconscious and condition ourselves to always be aware of by driving enough times, I became “aware” of whether I was in park, drive, or reverse. I instinctively stopped at red and drove at green. I was able to steer the wheel and talk at the same time. I didn’t need to consciously remember anything.
Let’s take another example: day and night. When we are first born, we don’t know the difference. But we quickly learn as mommy and daddy act different in the middle of each. As we get older and start to make contact with the world, we understand night time is when we sleep and day time is to play.
No one should ever have to remind us of the difference of calling someone at 3 PM and 3 AM – we are constantly aware without having to “remember” it.
And this applies to so many things in our lives. First we learn it, then we apply it, then we live with it constantly.
There are six mitzvos that we incorporate into our lives as the building blocks of a relationship to G-d. These aren’t actions. They are principles of awareness - they create our G-d consciousness.
The 6 principals form the bedrock of everything else that we do.
First we have to learn them.
Then we have to apply it.
So that we can constantly live with them.
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