Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Directing Your Heart

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Directing Your Heart


     We are told that the spiritual success of our mitzvahs will be determined by our kavana (intentions). The Mishna teaches "that it is the same whether a man offers much or little, so long as he directs his heart to Heaven."[i]  This explicitly tells us that directing our hearts is an essential aspect of the mitzvah.             

      Obviously, the physical aspects of the mitzvah must be in order, but the quality of our performance will not be determined by the mere physical details. Spending more money on the mitzvah will beautify the mitzvah, but to reap the intended spiritual awareness we have to "direct our hearts to Heaven."

     This means more than simply recognizing that we are performing a mitzvah. It means that we have to somehow be aware of Hashem's Presence while we perform the mitzvah.

     When we say, "Hashem is wonderful," we are being intellectual. When we say, "Hashem, You are wonderful," we are being spiritual. Talking to G-d, and not simply about G-d is an easy way to increase our awareness of His Presence.

     We can learn this from the blessings we say whenever we fulfill a commandment. We begin by saying, "Blessed are You L-rd our G-d…" We are talking directly to G-d about His holiness.

     We should not limit our 'talking to G-d' to when we say a blessing or to the three times a day when we pray. To increase our awareness of Hashem's eternal Presence we should talk to Him throughout our day. Hashem is always everywhere at all times. It is much more productive to talk to G-d when we walk down the street than is it to talk to ourselves.



[i] Minacot 13:11


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