Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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You Are Indebted

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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      Some non Chasidic yeshiva boys were trying to convince me that their way of learning was the most proper. I asked them to give me the best example that they could.

     One of the boys said, “Listen to this. If we are indebted to our earthly fathers for having fed us and clothed us all of our lives, how much more so are we indebted to our Heavenly Father Who has given us our very lives. Pretty good, huh?”

     “That’s terrible!” I said.

    “What’s wrong with it? It’s a great teaching!”

     I said, “That is a perfect example of the difference between your way of learning and mine. You are serving G-d because you are indebted, obligated, not because you love Him, and not because you love His Torah.

     “Here’s how you are supposed to do a mitzvah. You get married, and you are alone with your bride for the first time, and she says, ‘Sweetheart, I want you to give me a kiss.’ What do you say? ‘Well, I am indebted. I did marry her. And if I do I will get a reward.”?

    “No, you do not think like that. You quickly say, ‘Yum yum, oh boy!’ And you run across the room to kiss her.”

     But who loves us more, our bride or our Creator? Which is more important to us, the lips of our bride, or the mitzvahs of our G-d?”

     If you stop and think what mitzvahs do to you and to the world around you, they will become more important to you than the kisses of your bride. You will come to love to do a mitzvah, and it will bring you great joy.

     Is their teaching about indebtedness to G-d valid? Yes it is valid, but such a teaching need only be presented to someone who is reluctant to do a mitzvah, someone who is resisting what is good for him.

     We are told that it is better to do a mitzvah for the wrong reason then not to do it at all, because doing it might bring you to do it for the right reason. A Jew who fulfills the mitzvahs from a feeling of indebtedness will feel that the Torah is a burden that he must pay. Burdens weight heavy, and hold you down. Love picks you up, and makes you happy.

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