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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:250

Lie Down “Higher”

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Gemara:Ben Azay said: One can lie down on any surface except for the ground.

Ein Ayah:It is proper for one to point out on his own the fact that his position within the world is more exalted than that of a standard part of the nature of the world. The characteristic of a standard member of the animal kingdom is to lie on the ground when it has time to rest. This is the standard way of the world and a result of one’s normal activity.
However, a human being should not occupy himself in a serious form of rest at a time and place that he is too close to the ground. Rather, he should be awoken to the idea that he needs to be more exalted than the basic level of connection to the land, and therefore he should rest in a position that is above the ground. This is irrespective of any preferences that he might have, based on the structure of his body, to sleep in such a manner. It is appropriate that both the moral and the physical sides of a person lead to his need to be different.

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