Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

"The Path of the Just"

Ch. 6 (Part 2)

The truth is most everything shifts moment by moment; little stays in place. And the human heart and mind are the most active. You just need to close your eyes for a minute and watch all the images darting about behind your eyelids; or to close your ears and listen to your heart’s arguments for and against come-what-may.

In fact, no matter how slow and deliberate we are about things, there’s always a hidden, inner readiness to rush out to do something. Only having grown cynical has taught us to slow down. For we’ve learned that powerful people have things done for them, so we hold back. But that’s a grave spiritual error.

After all, if we’re asked to steer clear of detrimental things so as to grow in our beings (as we’d learned in the first trait, “caution”), then we’d clearly need to seek out beneficial things. And that’s the gist of this second trait. The point is, though, that we’re to seek out good things enthusiastically rather than nonchalantly,=2 0because a lot rides on them.

For Ramchal defines “enthusiasm” as “the eagerness to do and complete mitzvot”. That’s to say that the sort of inner urgency that we’re encouraged to foster should touch on things that will draw us close to G- d. For we’re challenged to cultivate a rich and quickened urge for holiness.

But understand that all this that touches on a certain irreconcilable difference-of-opinion in the human heart. For as Ramchal puts it, “it takes as much conscientiousness and determination to take hold of mitzvot”, and to grow, “as it does to save yourself from the snares of the yetzer harah”.

“For … the yetzer harah tries by any means to have you fall into the nets of sin”, he says, and “it likewise tries to have you lose the chance to do mitzvot”. That’s to say that the yetzer harah not only tries to draw us toward wrongdoing, it likewise tries to draw us away from good. And that inner-standstill could be our undoing.

So if “you slacken off and become lazy instead of encouraging yourself to pursue” goodness, he warns, “you’ll … be left empty handed”.

The solution lies of course in invigorating yourself, egging yourself onward mitzvah by mitzvah, and not settling for slow-going, unremitting spiritual mediocrity. But that’s frankly more easily said than done. So, how are we to come to authentic enthusiasm? We’ll learn that later on. First, though, we’ll touch on the heart’s uncanny way of avoiding an active pursuit of goodness.


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON NASO:

View Complete List

Behavioral Levis
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Strange Verbiage Contains A Beautiful Insight
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

Life, the Bigger Picture -- Say Cheese!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

ArtScroll

In the Wilderness
Shlomo Katz - 5768

The Blessing Which Can Never Be Retracted
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Building On The Positive
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Bring Blessings to the Children of Israel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Complexity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

Why Are Children Called "Redeemers"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

> Giving is Receiving
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Priestly Pipeline
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767

Holistic Modeling
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

More Precious Than Pearls
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Spies and Stones - The Shepherd Sticks with His Flock
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

An Ever Growing Badge of Courage
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Our Source of Honor
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information