Sunday, March 14, 2010

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You Are So Blessed

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Two of you wrote that we who live in Israel are so blessed, and that if only you could, you too would be here.

Well, you are right. We are blessed. But, even if you cannot come here right now (and I wonder if that is really true), you can do something to bring Israel to the place where you live.

What is so special about living in Israel? Is it special there are so many religious neighborhoods here? No, that can't be it, because there are plenty of places outside of Israel that have lots of religious neighborhoods. Is it special because there are so many Jewish people living here? No, because there are many other cities where you live that have lots of Jewish people living there, too.

Then, what is it?

There are two main reasons why this Land such a special place for us to live. Number one: This is the land that G-d gave to the Jewish People. This is our homeland, and everyone knows that it is always best to be at home.

Number two: This is the place where Hashem makes His Presence more easily seen. It is easier to live a spiritual life here than anywhere else in the world.

So what can you do, those of you who are not yet so blessed to live here? You have to bring that wonderful revelation of Hashem into your home, into your office, and into your neighborhood. And how do you do that? You perform mitzvahs with joy.

Mitzvahs are not merely obligations as many believe. The mitzvahs are actually physical and spiritual blessings that G-d has given to us, and each one has been given for a specific reason. The mitzvahs are spiritual exercises that are designed to help to open the mystical curtain that hides His Glory from us. If you will do the mitzvahs with joy, you will begin to bring the advantage that we have here, into your neighborhood, too.

The very purpose of creation is to reveal His Holy Presence right here in this world. The Prophets and Sages were clear as to how this can be done. They explained that this most treasured revelation can come only through joy. They went on to explain that this joy has to be the specific joy that comes when you do a mitzvah the way G-d intended for us to do them.

This means that not only are we to do the mitzvahs physically, but we must also strive to do them spiritually. So, for instance, when we give tzdeka (charity) not only are we to give the poor person the coin, but we must try to look and see what is happening spiritually when we open our hearts and hands to help another being.

Not only is the actually performance of a mitzvah designed to bring this mystical experience, but even the steps along the way to doing a mitzvah can bring it. This can happen if we prepare for the mitzvah with the same intention as when we actually do the mitzvah.

With this awareness, you will be able to spend your entire day either doing mitzvahs, or on your way to do a mitzvah. And when you understand what a mitzvah really is, you become very happy.

Why should doing a mitzvah make you so happy? One reason is, when you do a mitzvah, you are being a faithful servant of the Hoy King. What a wonderful thing to be! Also, when you do what your Father said to do, you make Him very happy. And what is nicer than making Someone you love happy?

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