"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Global decoys

With the general prevalence of concern about world events, the sicha below is worth keeping in mind:

When we discuss the need to rectify the entire world and bring it to be “filled with the knowledge of G–d” (Yeshaya 11:9), it is necessary to repudiate a mistaken conception that the evil inclination is liable to claim:

“Even if you fall short in your personal behavior in a particular area (in business, and the like), this is only a sin of an individual. Moreover, you can repent afterward, and even if you don’t, of what significance is this in comparison with the lofty task of fixing the entire world?”

Such “logic” is nothing but an argument of the evil inclination, whose goal is to distract and confuse the person so that he will not occupy himself in the areas in which he can act—by “inventing” a superior mission for him, one that at the moment he cannot accomplish, such as convincing him that his task is to bring the entire world to perfection, even when as an individual he acts in the opposite manner.

The Torah says, “First adorn yourself, and then adorn others” (
Bava Metziah 107b). Indeed, there is a large world that you need to fix, a world far greater and more significant—both qualitatively and quantitatively—than any individual creation in it. Yet in order for each creation to succeed at fixing the world, he needs to start first and foremost with fixing himself.

Moreover, there is no contradiction between involvement in both areas simultaneously. In other words, at the same time that one strives to improve and fix one’s personal behavior, he strives to influence those around him, as far as he is able to influence, to act in the appropriate manner.

Hitva’aduyot 5744, Vol. 4, pp. 2171-2172.

In my own words: One of the dangers in following world events is that although we are not in a position to change them directly, we are liable to become carried away with staying informed, being distressed about the events, and expressing our opinions on them. We then neglect the areas in which we are truly able to exert influence. To state the obvious, the main thing is not to know what is going on, but to do something about it.

What we who are not government advisors or the like can do (other than vote and lobby ones congressman or the like, when applicable) is to increase in good deeds, and study and spread Yiddishkeit and Chassidus starting with ourselves, our families, our immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, and our larger communities. All Hashem asks of each person is to do his or her individual part to exert a positive impact on the world and thereby positively affect the global situation to the extent that he or she is able.

The temptation to spend extensive amount of time reading about all the world
s problems is yet another cunning ploy of the evil inclination, “a master at his craft” (Shabbos 105b), to distract us from what we should really be doing.

What we can do may not be earth-shattering and glamorous, but it’s what truly counts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! :)