Day 14

Week 2: Seven Habits

Day 14: Habit #7 – Sharpen the Saw

The last of the 7 Habits, called ‘sharpening the saw,’ mirrors this, as it is about renewing all of these dimensions in our lives.

Though we consider ourselves as being in the ‘physical world,’ Torah says we simultaneously exist in four worlds: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. The seven middot and 7 Habits function in all four worlds of existence.

Stephen Covey says the same thing:

“Self-renewal must include balanced renewal in all four dimensions–physical, spiritual, mental and social/emotional. Neglecting any one area negatively impacts the rest.”

Covey’s last sentence is the same principle we find in Judaism, which speaks of a three-legged stool, comprised of Torah study, prayer and righteous deeds. If one of the legs becomes shorter than the other – you have instability. It’s never easy though. Too often we get ‘too caught up in life’ to do maintenance and improvement to our ‘personal infrastructure.’

Covey explains the 7th Habit like this:

“Suppose you came upon someone in the woods working to saw down a tree. They are exhausted from working for hours. You suggest they take a break to sharpen the saw. They might reply, “I didn’t have time to sharpen the saw, I’m busy sawing!”

As Malchut relates to ‘kingship’ as well as King David himself, how is all of the above practice related to this? Only when a king humbly works to improve himself through Torah at all levels, is he able to rule properly.  It was David’s ability to elevate himself from a very carnal person (compared to a ‘potential Esau’ in the midrashim) to a G-dly man, that resulted in his being called “a man after G-d’s own heart.”