Uncomfortable Day 7: Who Benefits When You Do Mitzvos?
This video is part of the series Uncomfortable
Transcript, references and audio version available below Yehoshua’s Reaction.
This thought is still burning inside me as I write. “Who benefits when we do the Mitzvah?” That’s a lot to chew over. Its so simple yet so mind blowing. I need to open my heart to the deepest depths to connect with what my brain is hearing.
If doing a Mitzvah is for my sake to bring me closer and Hashem benefits from my getting close to him – then at that moment my sake and Hashem’s sake is intertwined… Wow… That’s a lot to process. That’s a new dimension to understand my service to my heavenly father.
And the after effects of doing that is other than just “doing a good deed” as I’ve thought my entire life. It actually makes me as precious as the Mitzvah I just performed. And since its something so dear to him. Something that he NEEDS from me and I just did it? I just got close on the highest level.
And the craziest thing for me is that it’s clear from this teaching that Hashem cant bring me to be close to him. I need to journey that path on my own. By overcoming obstacles in my way and transforming my life into G-dliness and being close by doing the Mitzvos that he NEEDS.
Wow… My tefilla to the ribono shel olam is that I’ll have the strength to bring this into my mitzvos on a daily basis.
Note: Please be advised that these reactions are unedited.
Transcript & References
“רב אומר: לא נתנו המצות אלא לצרף בהן את הבריות.”
“Rav said: The Mitzvos were only given in order to refine His creations through them.”
-Beraishis Raboh. Parsha 44:1.
“לשם יחוד קודשא בריך הוא ושכינתה ליחדא שם י”ה בו”ה ביחודא שלים בשם כל ישראל.”
“For the sake of the union of the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Shechina, to unite the letters of Yud-Kei with Vov-Kei in perfect oneness, in the name of all Israel.”
-“This passage should be recited before performing a Mitvah.” –Sha’ar Ruach Hakodesh 12b. LiHarav Chayim Vital B’shem HaArizal.
“וְיָדְעוּ כִּי אֲנִי יְהֹוָה אֱ-להֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְשָׁכְנִי בְתוֹכָם אֲנִי יְ-הֹוָה א-ֱלֹהֵיהֶם:”
רמב”ן ד”ה לשכני בתוכם: רבי אברהם אמר כי לא הוצאתי אותם מארץ מצרים רק בעבור כי אשכון בתוכם וזהו תעבדון את האלהים על ההר הזה (לעיל ג יב) ויפה פירש ואם כן יש בענין סוד גדול כי כפי פשט הדבר השכינה בישראל צורך הדיוט ולא צורך גבוה אבל הוא כענין שאמר הכתוב ישראל אשר בך אתפאר (ישעיהו מט ג)
“They will know that I, the Lord, am their God, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order that I may dwell in their midst; I am the Lord, their God.”
“That I may dwell in their midst”: Rebbi Avraham stated: “I only brought them out of the land of Egypt in order that I dwell in their midst.” This is the content of what was stated earlier “You shall serve G-d on this mountain.” If so, there is a great secret being revealed here. For according to the simple way of understanding, the dwelling of the Shechina is for the sake of man, and not for Hashem’s sake, yet here we’re stressing a point similar to the verse: “…Israel, about whom I will boast.” (Yeshayahu 49:3)
-Ramban – Shemos 29:46 [ed. Note: see Ramban Devarim 22:6 where he explains the benefit Mitzvos bring to man.]
“מצוה לשון צוותא וחבור, והעושה מצוה מתחבר עם העצמות ב”ה, שהוא המצוה את הציווי ההוא. וזהו שכר מצוה מצוה, דזה מה שנתחבר עם עצמות אוא”ס מצוה הציווי, זהו שכרו.”
Mitzvah is an idiom of ‘Tzavsa’ – “Joining,” “Attachment.” Whoever performs a Mitzva becomes joined to the Essence of G-d – may He be blessed – Who issues that particular command. This is the meaning of “The reward of a Mitzvah is the Mitzva (itself)”: His becoming attached to the Essence of the En Sof Who ordained the command, is itself his reward.
-Hayom Yom. 8 Cheshvan.
Did the Aybishter give us the Mitzvos for our sake? If the Mitzvah does not do something for us, then the Aybishter is not getting what He needs! The Aybishter gave us Mitzvos that we should change and we should become G-dly, and that the whole world around us should become G-dly, for His sake. But what does He want? He wants you to get closer to Him. So is that for your sake?
So how is it that we get closer to Him by doing a Mitzvah? Because the Mitzvah is so close to Him, we become close like a Mitzvah, we become as precious as the Mitzvah. But if the Mitzvah was not precious, then why would we get closer to Him by doing a Mitzvah? On the contrary, it’s so backwards! If the Mitzvah is not important to Him, but He ‘keeps us busy’ doing Mitzvahs, then He’s keeping us out of His life.
If we were to have been created without Bechira, then we’re not getting closer. You might get Schar, but you’re not doing anything. The whole point is that you should get closer, but if you have no Bechira, then you’re not you. Then there is no you. He made you like a Malach, He made you close, so you’re close, but He did that, not you. He wants you to get close. He wants to bring out something more in us than we would otherwise.
So the Bechira is necessary because He wants you to get close, and you’re not you if you don’t have Bechira. Then there’s a separate question: What is the closeness? If the Mitzvah is not closer to Him than you, how are you getting closer by doing something that is far from Him? If He doesn’t need the mitzvah, and you’re busy doing something He doesn’t need, you’re getting closer to Him?
The opposite, you’re staying away from Him! And that’s called avodah zora. You’re busy with something that He doesn’t need? So that’s a Richuk, not a Kiruv. He gave us Bechira that you should come close. He didn’t give you the Bechira because He wants to see if you’re going to mess up, that’s not nice. He gives you the Bechira only for one reason; “Uvacharta Bachayim.”
But not ‘He wants to give us the opportunity to do an Aveirah and get punished,’ that’s not…it comes with the Bechira, but that’s not the purpose of the Bechira.
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