Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 19 (Part 13)

“Until now we’ve explained piety in terms of the things themselves we’d need to do to attain it,” Ramchal inserts here. “What we’ll discuss now are the motives behind those actions” -- that’s to say, we’ll delve into what we’d need to be convinced of to be driven to true piety.

Along those lines, he points out that “we’ve already discussed the notion of acting either altruistically or for an ulterior motive before” (see 16:2 where Ramchal was rather adamant about acting altruistically), but there’s more to be said about it for our purposes now. For, the truth of the matter is that if you serve G-d for some loftier ulterior motives, you aren’t as utterly blameworthy as you might have thought.

And so, for example, if you serve G-d so that your “soul could be purified in G-d’s presence”; so that you “could merit dwelling among the just and pious” and “to ‘witness the pleasantness of G-d and to visit His Sanctuary’” along with them (Psalms 27:4); or “for a reward of the World to Come” -- then you couldn’t really “be said to be ill-motivated” or self-centered.

That is, if what motivates you is a dream of sure closeness to G-d Almighty, then we’ll forgive you that “personal bent” if you will. After all, what mortal being who longs for closeness to G-d doesn’t deserve our admiration in the end? But still and all, “you couldn’t be said to have the best of intentions either”. Because at bottom we’re to set out to serve G-d selflessly, only so that “His glory grow and spread” and for no other reason.

Now, the truth be known, you could only come to that highest level “after your love of G-d is fully developed”, and you want nothing more than for His name to be honored in this world. While few of us have reached that level, to be sure, it would still do us well to know the highest, most ideal and selfless motivations behind loving G-d.


 

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


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Seven Perfect Weeks
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

State of the Union
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Cloaked in Dignity
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

> Unspoken Words
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

There's Holy, and There's Holy
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Love Your Neighbor: Who Needs Friends?
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

ArtScroll

Identical but Different
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

The Joys of Animal Noise
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Self-Love: Is it Self-ish?
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Justice Must Be Carried Out
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Reacting to Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Giving for a Good Cause
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Decline
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Why Is this Portion Different From All Other Portions?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

The Crossroads of Life
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Jewish Character
Shlomo Katz - 5761



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