eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.
“In turn, this will bring upon him the following blessing: “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance.” He will then ascend from level to level in fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos – even in the difficult aspects, which will benefit him-the “self”-in the World to Come.” (Ohr Yisrael, Letter Six, Page 187)
How will fulfillment of the easy aspects facilitate his eventual fulfillment of the difficult aspects?
Rav Yisrael concludes his masterful exposition of preparing for Yom Kippur through Mussar study with yet one more sparkling diamond. In a previous segment, Rav Yisrael presented two concepts concerning our fulfillment of Divine service. Both of these approaches to serving HaShem are “in our control”:
“The first one is that at all times; every person has the free will to be completely devoted to HaShem’s service. Also, during the Ten Days of Repentance, a person has the opportunity to entirely transform himself – to be a tzaddik, a man of peace in the upcoming year.
The second factor concerns improving the standing of one’s Divine service according to his current status – at all times, but particularly during the Ten Days of Repentance. Regarding this, the essential principle is to reflect and contemplate on one’s ways. Then, he should see to it that he at least observes the easier part of a precept – each person according to his situation and fear of Heaven. By following this procedure he will be delivered from transgressing the graver aspects of that particular sin.” (Ohr Yisrael, Letter Six, Page 177-178)
Since initially he actively rectifies the easy aspects which are “in his control,” Divine assistance will then help him master the difficult aspects. Again, Rav Yisrael is a source of encouragement, “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance”.. Thus, we see, that if one merits Divine assistance, through his efforts to fulfill easy injunctions, and the person uses this Divine assistance to fulfill the difficult injunctions, nevertheless, this is classified as “in his control.”
As Rav Yisrael postulated regarding our spiritual endeavors, both aspects of a Mitzvah, the easy and the difficult, are in one’s control. Therefore Rav Yisrael assures us, “Also, during the Ten Days of Repentance, a person has the opportunity to entirely transform himself – to be a tzaddik, a man of peace in the upcoming year”.
Implementation: Vocalize the axiom: “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance.”
By Rabbi Zvi Miller.
Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!
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Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.
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eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation