Sunday, December 07, 2014

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Part of a Mitzvah

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

   Part of a Mitzvah   


     A viewer questioned my statement on the video G-d Said, "Be Happy" that the mitzvah of waving the luluv (the four species on Succoth) done without joy is not accepted by Hashem.

     I pointed out that the actual commandment is to take the four species "…and you shall rejoice before Hashem…."[i] Also, the 98 horrible curses listed twice in the Torah came because "…you didn't serve Hashem your G-d with joy and goodness of heart…[ii]

     To be more precise, doing a mitzvah without joy is like doing part of the mitzvah.

     If someone goes to the study hall and does not study, he still gets credit for having gone there. Why should he get any credit at all? He did not learn anything. He just went and sat there! Still, even though he did not learn anything, he is given that small amount of credit to encourage him so he will go again. The hope is that next time he will also learn something while he is there.

     We are told that a person should do a mitzvah even without the proper intention, because doing that mitzvah might bring him to the proper intention.

     We see that a mitzvah even if it is not properly has some benefit for the person doing it, but it is as if Hashem is receiving that mitzvah halfheartedly.

     The obvious solution is to do the mitzvah the way it should be done, i.e. with joy. If for some reason you do not come to joy when you do a mitzvah, think about the words you say before you do it.

     "Blessed art You our G-d…Who has made us holy with His commandments…"

     Doing what G-d tells us to do makes us holy. Surely, that should make you happy when you do it. Remember, we are told that G-d's revealed Presence rests only on joy.

[i] Leviticus 23:40

[ii] Deuteronomy 28:47

1 comment:

  1. "If someone goes to the study hall and does not study, he still gets credit for having gone there."

    Why not? He could observe what goes on and learn how to learn from those who are really participating. Hopefully they are taking real joy and clarity from their learning and expressing it when they leave. If our non-student sees this, perhaps he will come to be part of the happy group?


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