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. 5

There's a question as to whether we should be introspective and dwell on the sorts of things we cited before all the time or not. After all, wouldn't that distract us from so many other things?

At bottom we're told that if we have the mentally acuity that something like that would call for -- which not everyone has -- that we're to be introspective "with every blink of the eye" and "each and every breath". Why? In order to "make sure that we stand in awe and dread before Gd *all the time*", not just when the spirit moves us.

But consider the ramifications of that. It implies that we're to concentrate on G-d's presence and His interactions with us wherever we are and with whomever we're with; that we're not to only talk and interact with those others, but with G-d too, who's also there (it should occur to us)! In other words, we're to perform on two different planes at once, if you will -- speak to two different "people" at the same time while taking each one's "feelings" into account, moment by moment. Few things are as fulfilling or as difficult to do, and little has the potential to extend our boundaries as far as that.

Is that difficult? To be sure. But is it for us? Yes -- after all, we're in search of spiritual excellence, which not only calls for the above-cited mental acuity but a lot of effort and dedication as well.

But, take heart, we're assured, and don't ever think your efforts to draw close to G-d that way -- no matter how small -- are ever in vain. For Ibn Pakudah reports that even "a little from you is a lot to Him", which he then offers an analogy for.

He asks us to consider how slowly sunlight seems to move on the ground, and to then realize that "even when it seems to only be moving a foot or so on the ground" at a time that "it's actually moving many miles" in the heavens. What that means to say is that no matter how little progress we detect in our Divine service "on the ground" day after day we're to know that we've actually managed to travel many, many miles in G-d's eyes.

(Unfortunately, though, the same is true of the effect our seemingly minor transgressions make in the heavens. For they too leave deep and long impressions in the cosmos even if we think otherwise.)


Text Copyright 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON KI SEITZEI AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Father Knows Best
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Elul Its All Relative
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5769

Uniforms vs. Uniformity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

...And It's All Small Stuff
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

The 'New' of the New Year
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

The Sounds of the Shofar
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

> Armed With Torah
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

It's War in There
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Time Is Now
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

ArtScroll

The Beautiful Accompaniment
Shlomo Katz - 5761

To Begin--to Cook from Within
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Yehi Ratzon - Text and Instructions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Battling Our Inner Enemy
- 5773

Teshuva and Rebi Elazar ben Dordai
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Soup Opera
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Yefas Toar: The Exception Proves The Rule
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



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