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The Duties of the Heart

Gate Five: "Dedicating Our Actions to God"

Chapter 1

As every honest person knows, each one of us is a waiter darting back and forth, table to table, filling the orders of many diners. And though most of us only wish we could be served, too, the true seeker of spiritual excellence wants to know how to "serve" G-d and G-d alone.

That's the context this gate fits into. It's termed "dedicating your actions to G-d", as we noted, and what that comes down to, Ibn Pakudah tells us, is making sure that everything we do is done in the service of G-d alone. That nothing we do be extraneous to that and certainly not contrary to it.

But there's another element of his definition that we left aside till now, which is that that includes everything we do both *"in private and in public"*. Which is to say that not only are we to dedicate our actions to G-d, but our thoughts and our very heart and soul as well. That's where the demands are deepest -- and the results most palpable.

In any event, this gate will explore the ramifications of all that.

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