Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Gate Four: "On Trusting G-d"

Chapter 4 - Part 5

The fifth area in which we're to trust in G-d's decisions also has to do with mitzvot we fulfill. But it focuses on those mitzvot that have specific bearing on our relationship to others.

They include giving charity, tithing your income, teaching others Torah, reproaching wrongdoers, returning items entrusted to you, keeping secrets, speaking and acting kindly, honoring your parents, counseling people about G-d's goodness, having compassion for the poor, accepting others' reproaches, etc.

Now, these sorts of mitzvot can be very complex sometimes. Because not only do they involve your doing things, they also involve your reactions to what others do to *you* as a consequence. After all, there are a lot of self-serving reasons to do those kinds of things, and people react to them in many different ways. So it turns out that your *intentions* for giving and those reactions speak volumes about your spiritual station and your trust in G-d.

The initial thing to remember is that all you can do is decide to do the good deed and set out to, as we said last time. Since only G-d can have it come to fruition or not. So the person who trusts in G-d's decisions would indeed decide to give charity, for example, set out to, and trust that the outcome is in G-d's hands.

But there are other elements as well. And that's where our intentions -- that is, the thinking *behind* our decision to offer charity -- come in. For spiritual excellence would demand that we do good for others' sakes, not our own. Which is to say, that we not look for the glory of being generous, the praise, the gratitude, the indebtedness. But rather that we be generous for two reasons alone: to help the other person, and to draw close to G-d.

To that end, it would be best to do good discreetly and even anonymously -- certainly without fanfare.

But that may be hard. After all, who doesn't want to be recognized as goodhearted and generous? And which sensitive soul isn't aware of how often we do things for just that reason? And so Ibn Pakudah ends with the sage advice that from now on whenever G-d presents us with a "chance to do a mitzvah, (that we) consider that a favor from Him" -- an opportunity to help others out and draw close to G-d Himself, rather than a chance to "shine", as we'd put it.

Subscribe to Spiritual Excellence and receive the class via e-mail.


 






ARTICLES ON YOM KIPPUR:

View Complete List

Yom Kippur and the Pathways to Joy
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Our Ticket to the Hall of Fame
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

To Avoid the Rough Road!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Saying Is Believing
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Our Next Big Move!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

ArtScroll

The Key to Clemency
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5761

Understanding Our Special Conduct
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Are We A Role Model for the World?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Yom Kippur
Shlomo Katz - 5773

Picture Perfect
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

A Happy Day
Shlomo Katz - 5769

> Did You Hear?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Body and Soul
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

A Yom Kippur to Remember
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Repentance: A Story
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757



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