It’s Not All about You – Parashat Mishpatim

February 17, 2020 at 2:58 AM , , ,

“….And you shall worship Hashem, your G-d… There will be no bereaved or barren woman in your land; I will fill the number of your days…” – Shemot 23:25-26

וַעֲבַדְתֶּם אֵת ה’ אֱלֹקֵיכֶם . . לֹא תִהְי’ מְשַׁכֵּלָה וַעֲקָרָה בְּאַרְצֶךָ אֶת מִסְפַּר יָמֶיךָ אֲמַלֵּא – כג, כה-כו

These verses contain profound insight and guidance in the struggles that many people face in their worship of G-d.

There will be no bereaved or barren woman:

The servant of G-d strives to worship Him with inner passion and devotion, but finds, at times, that he is bereaved or barren. This means that the inspiration and passion that he cultivated within himself are short-lived, or that his efforts to develop true love and fear of G-d do not bear fruit at all.

In your land:

The reason for this is hinted in the next word in the verse, בארצך, in your land. The word בארצך is also related to the Hebrew word רצון, wish or desire, (see Beraishis Rabbah 5:8); בארצך can thus be interpreted as “due to your wishes,” meaning, due to the personal satisfaction that you derive from your worship of G-d. Paradoxically, the feelings of fulfillment that one has from his Divine service ultimately hinder genuine feelings of devotion to G-d. These feelings cause one’s Divine service to become defined by the degree to which it makes him feel happy and content. Eventually, instead of being a devoted servant of G-d, he picks and chooses between the aspects of Divine service he feels that he relates to and those he does not. Obviously, genuine feelings of unconditional love and commitment to G-d cannot thrive in such an environment.

It's Not All about You

I will fill the number of your days:

The key to overcoming this pitfall is internalizing the message found in the end of this verse, “I will fill the number of your days.” The days allotted to a person in this world are numbered; G-d gives each person precisely enough time to fulfill the purpose for which he was created. It follows that with every passing moment that is not fully utilized in the service of G-d, the mission that G-d gave the individual to fulfill is being sabotaged. One who takes this message to heart will quickly abandon his search for satisfaction and achievement, and will devote his every moment to fulfilling his G-dly mission. With no time to harp on feelings of achievement, his internal relationship with G-d will flourish and thrive.

—Likkutei Sichos vol. 16, p. 273-274


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