I flew today. The plane was sailing over high and majestic mountains, their peaks painted white under deep layers of ice and snow.

I thought how often I'd used the metaphor of a mountain to describe our life's journey toward holiness. Somehow it always seemed that the top of the mountain was the end of the journey. Perhaps most of us will do well to reach it. But today I see that the top of the mountain is not the limit.

In Kedushah, as in our mundane world, when one learns to fly, one can soar even above the mountaintops. Maybe that is how the Tzaddikim are able to see beyond the limits of human comprehension. no longer moribund, no longer bound to the surroundings of Klipah, the limited physical world, they soar, gaining perspective beyond that achieved even on the mountain top.

We are taught that love and fear of G-d are the wings of the soul, investing it with the power to fly to the heights of Kedushah.

Can we not just grow our wings and take off? Why climb the mountain at all? Why suffer through the torment and exertion that the ascent demands? Why confront cliffs of adversity and precarious paths which challenge our will to go on?

For most of us, the common man, the answer may be that it is this very journey up the mountain which teaches us, develops within us and upon us, the "wings" of love and fear of G-d.

How strong our wings become, or how much we let them languish in laziness or self-defeat, is in large part the measure of how long and how high our souls can soar into the upper realms of spiritual awareness and light.



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