Action leads to passion

“I don’t have the passion for growing. I don’t want to grow!”

Does this sound familiar to you?

Let’s face it. We all sometimes feel that mitzvos are chores, tasks that we don’t particularly enjoy. We’d rather serve Hashem when we feel inspired to.

Rashi tells us how Aharon was upset to learn that he would not be able to attend the inauguration of the Nesi’im. Hashem had to comfort him and told him that he would be doing a job much greater than that of the Nesi’im. He would light the Menorah.

But why was Aharon so desperate to be at the inauguration? He had plenty of zechusim already!?

מלא מחזיק, ריקן אינו מחזיק- one who is full (of Torah and mitzvos) can hold (more), one who is empty cannot hold (.ברכות מ)

The Mashgiach of Ponevezh explains: Paradoxically, the more one satiates his neshomah the hungrier he gets for more spiritual food. Conversely, a person who is ’empty’ spiritually will not feel that hunger for more, and will avoid any opportunity to grow. That is why Chazal also said that תלמידי חכמים have no rest, in This World or the Next World (.ברכות סד). Their actions created a cycle which fuels their passion to do more. That is how they grow.

Aharon had a lifetime of mitzvos behind him at that point. But that didn’t stop his passion for Yiddishkeit, it fuelled it! The more he accomplished, the bigger his drive for accomplishment got.

The hunger for mitzvos comes from doing them and putting thought into them, even if we have to push ourselves. It comes from trying to focus on some of shemoneh esrei during Maariv, after long day at the office. From going out of your way to smile even when you’re not in the best of moods. By being proactive, we can reach a level where we will look forward to doing mitzvos.

Yes, we need passion. But it starts with action.

(from Sefer Talelei Oros)


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