Sunday, April 3, 2011

How to Serve Hashem with Joy

Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, zt”l, offered practical advice how to serve Hashem with joy. “The main purpose of creation was to take pleasure in one’s Divine service. In order to feel this pleasure one must consider that when one davens or learns Torah this gives Hashem great joy. This fact is readily apparent from the Mishnah which lists of six things for which a sacrifice must be brought. 'L’shem reyach, l’shem nichoach'--Rashi explains that this means that Hashem takes pleasure when we bring sacrifices since we are following His commands. This is our main task: to give nachas to Hashem.
“We need only consider that every positive action draws down bounty from on high. Every good action we do matters so much! Our hearts will be enflamed with enthusiasm and we should all say to ourselves, ‘Here I am, a human being formed from a putrid drop; one day I will leave this world and my body will rot in the grave, yet right now I can give pleasure to the Creator! My every mitzvah makes such a difference!’
“Every Jew is obligated to feel immense joy and satisfaction that he merits such favor from on high. But what if he is filled with doubts due to humility, and wonders to himself, “Yet what am I that I should think that Hashem has bestowed upon my avodah such importance?’ He must respond to this question in the following manner, ‘This is a kindness from Hashem which has nothing to do with anything I have done. It is truly a wonder that a human being fashioned from mere flesh and blood can give pleasure and joy to the King of kings!”

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