Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Gate Eight: "The Gate of Introspection"
Ch. 2

We're each distinctive inside and out with individual circumstances, and with our own way of perceiving both ourselves and those circumstances. Yet we're all told to be introspective despite those differences, and to do it in order to see for ourselves how to serve G-d in light of how good He's been to us. So, how do we manage to do that?

As Ibn Pakudah puts it, it comes to this: since "we're all obliged to serve G-d according to our perceptions and according to the favors He's done for us alone" (as we said), it follows that each one of us should "ponder what his obligations are to G-d" in his own way, "be as exacting in that as p then "do as much as he possibly can" to follow through on his realizations.

That's to say that we're each to sit long and hard, and consider all the good we've been blessed with in our own lives that others don't have (*aside* from all the good that every living being enjoys); and we're to then thank G-d for it by serving Him -- "reimbursing" Him, if you will -- in kind. We'll get into the details of that later on, but that's it in sum.

But Ibn Pakudah adds one item at the end. Each one of us is to do as much as he possibly can to repay G-d -- "or to at least *long* to do as much". What that means to say is that we're to also come to know ourselves well enough in our ruminations to realize what we can and can't do so as to aim for the appropriate mark, but to *want to reach higher yet* even when we know we won't.

"Do that", we're told, "and G-d will judge you favorably" for having done what you could -- just as long as you aspire to fulfill as many of your obligations to G-d as you can, and you "neither absolve yourself of them with excuses, belittle them, or neglect and ignore them." For while knowing your limitations is invaluable, settling for them and never hoping to transcend them is inexcusable.


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON LECH LECHA:

View Complete List

The Landlord Is Still Home
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Lucky Man
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Environmental Hazard
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

> I 'Na' Know...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Every Drop Matters
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Use Them or Lose Them
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Reaching for Perfection
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

No Pain, No Gain
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Uniquely Human
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Home Sweet Home
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

I Too Was Struck
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

ArtScroll

Outsiders
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Lech Lecha
- 5769

Abraham's Dwelling
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Grand Prize of History
Rabbi Label Lam - 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