"The Way of G-d"
Part 1: "The Fundamental Principles of Reality"
Ch. 4: "Human Responsibility"
We learned last time that we were to "constantly engage with G-d", "attach
ourselves onto Him", and "apply all of our activities to that end."
The truth be known, though, we engage in many, many things that seem to have
nothing to do with G-d. For while we may in fact do what we can to fulfill
His mitzvahs and thus draw close to Him, as well as to avoid the sorts of
things that would alienate us from Him, *much* of what we do can best be
termed "discretionary" or mundane, and seems to have nothing to do with Him.
So how can we ever hope to draw close to Him given that fact?
Fortunately there’s a way. And it’s based on this metaphysical phenomenon.
We’re taught that we accomplish two different things when we fulfill
mitzvahs. We abide by G-d’s wishes right there and then (after all, it’s He
who’d prefer that we pray just then, celebrate a particular Holy Day at the
time, give charity to a particular cause we’re being solicited by, etc.). And
we achieve a level of self-perfection in the process as well.
That’s to say that my donating to a particular worthy cause just then not
only helps out the cause and does good in the world. It also helps *me* on a
very deep level, and rectifies errors I might have made along the way
touching on being charitable. For in fact, G-d wants both to happen-- both
the inherent good, and the repair.
But, again, those situations only come up once in a while. So what are we to
do the rest of the time to better the world and ourselves?
We’re thus told that we can grant the same potency and possibility to nearly
*all* the more ancillary things we occupy ourselves with in the course of the
day by having the following in mind. (We say "nearly all" of them because
what we’re about to say can’t be applied to illegal, immoral, or
inconsiderate items or acts.)
Our motivation for doing the sorts of things we do that don’t directly touch
upon mitzvahs (like eating a good meal, exercising, relaxing, spending time
with our family, walking by the shoreline, etc.) should be to keep ourselves
physically and emotionally well and vigorous enough to serve G-d freely and
robustly. Since no one can do much to draw close to G-d when he or she is ill
Then even those more mundane sorts of things become infused with a
mitzvah-quality that’s on par with more clear-cut mitzvahs! And they become
expressions of acquiescence to G-d’s will, and means of perfection. The very
food we munch, exercise we do, shoreline we walk, etc. thus serves to fulfill
G-d’s will in this world every bit as much as the wine we’d use to make
Kiddush on Shabbat, for example. And it too enjoys a spiritual elevation.
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