The poor guy
was always getting thrown;
and neither he nor the crowd
was particularly impressed
with how the bronco
was calling the shots.
He’d been warned
that with his multiple concussions
and sprained wrists
there’d soon have to be a limit
to his performances.
one day out of the blue
the bronco transformed itself
into a gallant domesticated stallion
with all the harnessed power and might
of its youth.
The rider had simply stopped
the electric shocks
the meager meals
and had instead settled
on guiding him in a different direction.
One of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings:
“When you see chamor, a donkey” – when you carefully examine your chomer (“materiality”), your body, you will see…
…”your enemy” – meaning, that your chomer hates your Divine soul that longs for G‑dliness and the spiritual, and furthermore, you will see that it is…
…”lying under its burden” placed upon it – (the body) by G‑d, namely, that it should become refined through Torah and mitzvot; but the body is lazy to fulfill them. It may then occur to you that…
…”you will refrain from helping it” – to enable it to fulfill its mission, and instead you will follow the path of mortification of the flesh to break down the body’s crass materiality. However, not in this approach will the light of Torah reside. Rather…
…”you must aid it” – purify the body, refine it, but do not break it by mortification.
– Exodus 23:5