Thursday, August 26, 2010

// // 6 comments

The Worst Possible Sin

by Reb Gutman Locks @ the mystique’

     What is the worst thing that a Jew could possibly do? What sin is so bad that if a Jew does it (G-d forbid), G-d actually curses that Jew? If the Jew turns from his sin, G-d will take the curse away. But, if that Jew is obstinate, and continues in his horrible sin, then G-d adds another curse to the first one. Again, if the Jew only turns from his sin, the curses will be taken away, but if he is still stubborn and insists on continuing in his wicked way, then G-d will add another curse, and then another, and another. The curses get so bad that this Jew actually eats his own children! The sinner brings upon himself 98 of these horrible curses.

     What is this worst of all possible sin? This week’s Torah portion, Ki Savo, lists those awful curses, and it explains that the curses came, “… because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant.”[i]

      The Torah says that everything was abundant for him. Things were alright. He was even serving G-d,[ii] but he was not serving G-d with joy. Don’t do this one!

G-d gave us His Torah to relieve our burdens, not to increase them. He loves us and wants us to be happy every day of our lives.

     Today, there are thousands upon thousands of “religious” Jews falling into this horrible, and needless, trap. Their mistake is that they are serving G-d for the wrong reasons. They serve Him only because they are commanded to obey Him, only because they have to! They serve Him because Him because it is the tradition. They do the mitzvahs because they believe that they will receive a reward in the Next World if they do them. And yes, all of these reasons are true. We are commanded to serve G-d, and yes we will receive a reward in the Next World. But, these are not to be our reasons for serving G-d.

     They serve G-d because they are obligated to serve G-d, not because they love Him, and not because they love His Torah. Don’t do this one!

     If you are not happy when you do a mitzvah, you are not doing it right. You have learned only the lowest level of physicality, and you have not even begun to see the glorious spiritual reality that is within each mitzvah. But, just as the physical Torah requires effort to learn, so does the spiritual Torah require effort to learn. Spiritual awareness and the joy it brings does not come automatically when you do a mitzvah. You have to search for it.

     For instance, look to see what G-d wants from the mitzvah you are doing. Why does He command us in this specific way? How does that mitzvah change the world? Imagine what happens to a servant when he fulfills the King’s wishes. How does a father feel when the child does what the father asks, and even more so, if the child has to struggle to do what the Father wants? When you answer these types of questions, you begin to experience the joy that comes from serving G-d the way He wants to be served.


[i] Deuteronomy 28:47
[ii] Some say that he did not serve at all.

6 comments:

Moshe said...

Remember everyone that sending a prayer to Hashem without Kavana is like sending an envelope to Hashem with no paper in it. we need to all come together and fight for Hashem even when things are going great.
And remember like what Rabbi Brody and Rav Arush say we need to keep strong Emuna.

Crazy Smade said...

HaShem needn't have bothered enumerating a plethora of curses. One curse alone would have been sufficient -- the curse of being alone. That's a curse that no Jew or non-Jew ought to suffer, IMO.

A sense of belonging is one of the most basic of human needs. I can think of no greater curse than that of being on a planet that's populated by 7+ billion people and yet being totally and completely alone. Being a pariah, being shunned, being the odd-person-out, being excommunicated is curse enough, IMO. It's like being sentence to existence without a life!

Is there anything worse than being surrounded by people and yet being invisible and going unheard and being left alone or openly shunned?

You needn't look any further than Bereshit for the ultimate example of this. As "complete" as Adam HaRishon was ... he was still alone, despite being surrounded by his fellow creatures and basking in the presence of the Divine! HaShem had to split Adam HaRishon into equal opposites in order for him not to be alone, no?

How is man suppose to serve HaShem with joy if he remains alone ... or worse ... shunned by his own people, that is, if he even has a "people" of his own...? If one cannot find an equal opposite or at the very least ... like minded souls to "attach" one's self to, then what's the point of existence?

Can you fake joy and fool HaShem when you're alone? Isn't the whole of Creation all about "attachment"...?

What do the Sages state about the unmarried man!? He lives without joy, no? How does HaShem expect one to serve him with joy, if He doesn't provide one with an equal opposite helper or at the very least a community of like minded souls with whom he can "attach" himself to...?

Seriously.... Yes, I'm a non-Jew, but I'd still like an answer to these questions. Believe me, I hate being a wet blanket on such a motivation article, but ... that's probably why I'm alone in life -- always the water ... never the fire. ::::heavy sigh::::

Anonymous said...

Is anyone truly alone forever?

There are times we are surrounded by people but feel utterly alone. When we are ready to lift up our eyes, we see G-d has never left us and someone is there, a stranger, a friend or a family member to share with us our gratitude to G-d and for the gift of life He has given us.

L'chaim,

rochelle

Crazy Smade said...

I guess therein is the challenge, Rochelle - to see life as a gift, rather than a string of disappointments that are accentuated by conflict, laced with frustrations, and interspersed with periods of melancholy.

If joy is the light-switch, then it's being kept out of reach by society and it remains well camouflaged. That's all part of the double-concealment and the work of the Yetzer HaRa, which is curse enough, if you ask me.

Lvnsm27 said...

I understand what you Gutman mean. It's better to do something happily rather than because you just have to.

It's like when a husband gives his wife flowers. At first he gives it happily. But later he just gives it because he feels obligated. However, she prefers him to give it with love instead of No emotion.

Some things are easy to do with joy and some are not. And if we don't understand some things, then it takes learning and effort to do joyfully.
It's like we are the child who is given rules but don't understand some of them. However, when we search and seek guidence and learn, we start to understand that the rules are for our BENEFIT. When we know that, then we can start to do it with joy

Anonymous said...

mashiach is racked with suffering with the shechinah at the entrance to rome ! read zohar and ramchal , some of us suffer with him and one of us actualy is him !

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