Thursday, October 8, 2009

The value of preparing for a mitzvah, Part II


"The Tur cited a midrash [as we saw here yesterday] that between Yom Kippur and Succot we are invovled in mitzvot of Lulav and Succah and we do not sin, and Gd declares that what is gone is gone.

"The Taz asked: How could these days be greater than Succot itself, when we fulfill the actual mitzvah – and yet, he says that the first day of Succot is first for the year’s accounting of sins!

"But this is not unlikely, for there is greater strength and salvation in the preparation for a mitzvah than in the fulfillment itself:

"First, this is because fulfilling the mitzvah is for a moment and preparation is eternal. Regarding this it is said, ‘You shall guard and you shall fulfill’ – based on the way a person guards himself continually, in order to be prepared to fulfill the mitzvot of HaShem. Certainly, all of the work he does to guard himself from the empty elements of this world is needed so that he will be prepared to fulfill the mitzvot of HaShem, and his ability to fulfill the mitzvah will match his level of purity.

"Also, because of the way one guards himself he then merits to fulfill the mitzvah and be guarded from all harm, as it is written, ‘One who guards a mitzvah will know of nothing bad.’

"Further, who can fulfill a mitzvah according to all of its precepts? But the desire and preparation for a mitzvah is all in order to perform it according to Divine desire, and therefore that preparation and joy in arriving at the mitzvah opportunity is very important."

(Sfat Emet to Parshat Haazinu)

Moadim l'simchah,

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