Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Direct Your Heart

   by Reb Gutman Locks

Direct Your Heart


     I helped this soldier to put on tefillin. He read the Shema and then turned for me to take them off. He seemed unmoved by the experience. I told him, "The mitzvah opens the door to Heaven. Talk to Hashem. Tell Him what you want for your family, for the soldiers, for the Jews in danger, everything that you want, and thank Him for all the good that He has given you. Talk to G-d in your heart."

     We usually cover our eyes when we read the Shema. The soldier didn't. He read the Shema seemingly indifferent to its meaning. He looked like he was reading a magazine. But when he began to talk directly to Hashem in his personal prayers he lowered his head and covered his eyes. I was taken by his sincerity … which I did not see when he read the Shema.   

     This is the easiest way to elevate a mitzvah from satisfying only the basic, physical commandment to also bringing spiritual awareness into the mitzvah. This is the aspect of a mitzvah that makes the mitzvahs so precious to us and to Hashem. G-d wants us to get the most out of the mitzvahs. The mitzvahs are for our benefit, but when we do them right and Hashem sees that the mitzvahs have effected a change in us, they become even more precious to Hashem.

     The Mishnah[i] tells us in order to make our mitzvahs "a sweet aroma to Hashem", we must "direct our hearts to Heaven." Sincerely talking to Hashem directs our hearts to Heaven.


[i] Minacot 13:11


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