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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Torah-true inspiration

Although a Jew should obey the commands of the Torah even when feeling low, true performance of Torah stems from a profound inner feeling of inspiration. This involves using all his internal faculties (kochos) in serving Hashem. This principle holds true concerning all of Torah and Mitzvos, but in this article I will illustrate it using the example of Torah study, which should permeate one’s emotions, intellect, willpower, and pleasure:

Emotions (middos): Arouse an intense love for Torah that drives you to study and teach Torah as much as possible, whenever possible. You will then also love those who devote themselves to studying and teaching Torah, and support them financially or otherwise as much as possible. You will also love holy seforim and feel a close, personal attachment with holy seforim in general, and with your personal Torah library in particular. Likewise, you will feel afraid to become separated from Torah by neglecting its study, chas vesholom (“bittul Torah”).

Intellect (sechel): Saturate your mind with Torah to the extent that it permeates your mental space completely. Even when it is necessary to discuss mundane things, as soon as some relevance can be drawn between what your are discussing and a Torah teaching, immediately notice and comment on that relevance. In almost every thought process, strive to draw connections with pesukim (verses) of Tanach, with maamarei Chazal, stories, and sayings of chassidim, and so on. Ultimately, you will reach the point where your mind is trained to think according to the daas of Torah, such that your every decision and opinion correctly conforms with what the Torah truly wants of you.

Willpower (ratzon): Cultivate an intense urge to study and disseminate Torah, to the point that you overcome all obstacles lying in your way.

Pleasure (taanug): Regard Torah study as a delight, and not just because of its intellectual profundity, but also because you appreciate its purity and holiness. Approaching a bookshelf of seforim will then evoke the feeling of gazing upon a smorgasbord of spiritual delicacies, an enticing array of mouth-watering sublime treats. Likewise, any opportunity to support Torah study and disseminate it will bring you profound personal pleasure and satisfaction.

Once all these deeper faculties are directed towards the sacred, this naturally leads to thought, speech, and action of Torah and Mitzvos that flow from genuine passion and inspiration. 

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