Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 17 (Part 2)

It is often useful to take a deep breath, set your mind to the task at hand, whatever it is, and to then purposefully and intently set out to do it. If that is true of most things, it is all the more so true when you set out to study Torah or do a mitzvah … especially if you hope to achieve purity.

As Ramchal puts it, “don’t suddenly and immediately rush into a mitzvah before having had time to reflect upon what you’re about to do.” Instead, “get yourself ready for it, and compose yourself until you’re truly focused”. Then concentrate on what you’re about to do -- the mitzvah itself, that is, the actual process and all its requirements, component parts, and its ramifications; and concentrate after that upon “Whom you’re about to do it before” -- G-d Almighty.

The last point is the most important. After all, know it or not, we always stand before G-d. And while He always looks at us straight-on, we often look at Him peripherally, if at all. We'd thus need to learn to turn to Him full-face when we address Him in prayer, when we set out to fulfill one of his mitzvahs, or when we hear out His instructions as we study His Torah. (Isn’t that what Torah-study is all about at bottom, anyway? -- hearing out G-d’s instructions; so wouldn’t it be only right to face Him and read it closely and attentively?).

As such, each one of us would need to “rid ourselves of all external impetuses” and to “set the right … ones in mind instead” when we follow His will. In fact, we are taught that “the early pious ones would wait a full hour before actually beginning to pray (Berachot 30b) so as to direct their heart to G-d”. As Ramchal explains it, they did that in order to “ready themselves (for the task at hand) by focusing their attention … and eliminating any untoward thoughts … (so as to) fill themselves with … reverence and love” for Him.

While the rest of us aren’t expected to do that per se, still and all we can learn the art of slow approach, of dwelling on what we’re about to do, and of reminding ourselves of G-d’s presence.

We’ll begin delving into the all-important trait of piety next.


 

Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org

Rabbi Feldman's new book, Bachya Ibn Pakuda's The Duties of the Heart, is now available! Order Now


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Rosh HaShana - Of Creation and Our King
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Future Judgement
Shlomo Katz - 5768

The Essence of Jewish History
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Happy New Year!
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

It's War in There
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Battle of Our Lives
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Time to Remember and Be Inspired
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Sound of True Devotion
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Are We listening?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

> Relentless
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Parshas Ki Seitzei: Volume 26, No. 44
Shlomo Katz - 5772

ArtScroll

The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Divine Handouts
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Hanging onto Holiness by a Thread
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

And Straight Again!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766



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