Today is the day after Yom Kippur, and as I study today’s daf (Ketubot 92) – which speaks about the ability of creditors to take land that debtors have used as collateral – I wonder how, beyond the specific details being discussed, our daf speaks to me.
However, I then noticed that our daf refers to different qualities of land. Specifically, the Gemara distinguishes between זבנה בינונית (‘average quality land’) and זבנה עידית (‘superior quality land’) where we are taught that while the former can be taken as collateral, the latter cannot.
Reflecting on this distinction, I believe that many of us view ourselves to be זבנה בינונית (‘average quality land’), and oftentimes our expectations of growth are set and measured within the realm of the average. Yet, especially the day after Yom Kippur, I believe that we should view ourselves as זבנה עידית (‘superior quality land’), and we should believe that we can achieve remarkable growth – if we so wish to.
Perhaps you may say that such aspirations are ridiculous! However, as the Rambam writes in Hilchot Teshuvah 5:1, “free will is given to all people. Consequently, if you desire to turn your life towards the path of goodness and become a righteous person, the choice is yours”. Moreover, he then continues in the following halacha by stating that “each person is fit to be a righteous person like Moshe Rabbeinu!”.
Ultimately, the best way for us to avoid transgression is to recognize our potential for greatness, and the best way for us to grow towards righteousness is to believe that we can be truly righteous. So today, when you look into your spiritual mirror the day after Yom Kippur, consider yourself as זבנה עידית (‘superior quality land’), and with this in mind, begin sowing the seeds for further personal and spiritual growth.