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. 3 (Part 1)

It's become clear that introspection at bottom is the act of taking stock of what we've been granted and thanking the Supplier. But just imagine all the instances in life we could dwell on to do that! So since we couldn't possibly feature all of them we'll focus on thirty of the most fundamental of all. This too will obviously take us quite a while but it will prove to be very helpful and enlightening -- if we take each one to heart.

The first instance to consider, obviously, is our birth. Ibn Pakudah asks us to reflect upon the fact that we each came from out of nowhere to life itself "not as a result of our merits, but simply because of G-d's generosity, goodness, and kindness". How true. For each one of us could simply have never been, and nothing we'd done beforehand would have guaranteed us existence or deemed us indispensable. G-d's love and generosity alone allowed for us to be, and we have a lot to be thankful for, for that alone.

So we're charged to thank G-d outright for that privilege by reflecting upon the following. "Just imagine you were thrown out into the street by your mother as an infant" Ibn Pakudah offers, "and a passing stranger took pity on you, brought you home, and took it upon himself to raise you. Imagine how obliged you'd be to him ... !" That's all the more so true when it comes to G-d. We'd do well to use that as a model for how freely we should be giving our thanks to Him.


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

People In Stone Houses Should Not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Maybe
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

ArtScroll

Taking a Hint
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Constant Taking is Self Destructing
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Missed Opportunities
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Improving Our Own World
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Home Alone
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Before It Rains
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

> Love versus Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Choosing Sides
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Noah's Spiritual Leadership
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

Go the Distance!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762



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