Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Inject Spirituality into your Sukkos

Spiritual Dan commented: "...I'm wondering the connection between the beautification of the mitzvah of the sukkah and the esrog, and the spirituality thereof. If we didn't luck out and our esrog is not as nice as it could be, how can we put the frustration aside and achieve the same high level of spirituality from the mitzvah? I guess it's related to your post: even if you have a halachic sukka, what's to say your spirituality couldn't be yet higher if you had beautified it more?"
Excellent question. By not loosing sight of the importance of the joy we feel while fulfilling Hashem's commandments. Although joy is not as great as doing actual mitzvos,Hashem's desire for us in this world, joy is of paramount importance while doing a mitzvah. Rabeinu Bachayah writes that every mitzvah has a separate yet intrinsic mitzvah: the joy we take in the mitzvah. He also says that the joy one feels in the mitzvah is even more important than the mitvah itself!
So we can inject more spirituality in our mitzvos by striving to feel the joy of the mitzvah. Even if you don't yet feel it, if you daven and yearn to feel it you will eventually "get it" as discussed at very great length in Likutei Halachos.
Now I know what you are probably thinking: Didn't Rebbe Nachman say that it is a great mitzvah to always be joyous? The answer is: Yes. But he didn't mean the happines of someone who won the lottery or whose sports team won the World Series. He primarily meant rejoicing in Hashem which is included in the mitzvah to love Hashem, one of the six perpetual mitzvos (as explained at great length by the Shela Hakadosh and many other sources.)Of course this joy is compounded if one is doing another mitzvah as well.Rebbe Nachman himself says that inappropriate joy is a "strange fire" and certainly no mitzvah.
But the first rule is Azamra! We must concentrate on the good in the mitzvah and forget about the negative. We have a choice. Either focus on the negative or rejoice in what we have. Remember, do your best to get the best but don't forget to enjoy every instant of each matter what!
Hashem should help us always rejoice in His kindness and His mitzvos especially during these elevated times!


Spiritual Dan said...

Thank you! So if I understand correctly, the idea would be to of course seek out beautification of a mitzvah as much as reasonably possible, but once you are in the mitzvah, to experience the joy in it and not think of how much more joy you could have had in some other world etc. It's like you've boarded the mitzvah-ship, and now just have faith and enjoy the ride, don't worry about the other boats out there.

Micha said...

Precisely and very well put!
This is discussed in Likutei Halachos at very great length and in many contexts. Hashem should help us fulfill it!