Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Introduction (Part 4)

Continuing to wonder why a book dedicated to explicating the inner, heart-based mitzvot hadn't been written before he set out to write “The Duties of the Heart”, Ibn Pakudah thought that it was because there really weren't many heart-based mitzvot.

But he discovered that while there’s a finite number of physical mitzvot (613, in fact), there’s a near infinite number of heart-based ones, when you consider how capable they are of coloring and infusing nearly *everything* we do.

He then wondered if perhaps everyone was already *so* aware of and so committed to fulfilling these mitzvot that it was simply unnecessary to lay them out in book form.

But to his dismay he knew (just as most of us know, and only too well) that the great preponderance of people simply don't strive for spiritual excellence. And that when they *do* do the sorts of things that benefit us all, they often do it for self-serving ends--perhaps to appear intelligent, caring, or pious to others, etc.

Such individuals not only do the right thing for the wrong reasons, they also bypass the need to concentrate on certain fundamentals of the faith we'll be touching on later.

And they include: faith in G-d's Oneness; whether we’re supposed to delve into the import and implications of it on our own, or whether it’s enough to depend upon the tradition for that; and whether we’re supposed to say "G-d is One" the way most people do, without really knowing what they’re saying, or whether we’re to research the matter on our own.

Many sages, though, have dedicated the requisite time and energy needed to dwell on these points, as well as other duties of the heart. In fact, the story’s told of a certain sage who would only associate with others until midday, when he’d seclude himself and say, "Bring on the hidden light!", referring to the duties of the heart.

And it’s them that we should emulate.

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


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

No Second Thoughts
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

The Kindness Factor
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Priorities Confused
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
- 5769

There is a Builder
Shlomo Katz - 5759

The Dawn of a New Era
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

> Participating in G-ds Master Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

You Shall Live by Them
Shlomo Katz - 5758

A Self-Starter
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Suicide Moms
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

The Standers and the Walkers
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

I Believe
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5766

ArtScroll

I Too Was Struck
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Of Threads and Shoelaces
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Our Future Lies in Chevron
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

The chessed of Avraham
Shlomo Katz - 5773



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