Who We Are

Who are we?

 

Rabbi Yossi Jacobson spoke that the Baal Shem Tov had a major innovation, namely to reveal to us Jews, that we are in essence God.

 

Now why is this important – the answer he gave is that people abhor doing what others tell them to do, and love doing what they themselves, tell themselves to do.

 

In fact, the Rebbe alludes to this in a talk explaining why there was such a joy in Simchas Beis Hashoivah (the water drawing festival, upon which our sages declare, whoever didn’t see simchas beis hashoaivah never saw happiness in their lives) and the Rebbe explains, because in every Mitzvah there is an element of compulsion to it (for it is the command of the king) but as this was a custom and none were compelled, hence they did it out of their own free choice and as such it was truly deliriously joyful!

 

In a certain sense, this is absolutely clear (and the very reason why God created that our society should have brought about such results) in the difference between how someone brought in Torah and Mitzvos does a Mitzvah and someone who embraced it with true free choice (actually leaving behind their previous upbringing and choosing such a lifestyle,) in their association to Mitzvos.

 

One does it because it is simply a necessity, the other does it with absolutely deliriously happiness, for it is not a necessity, rather an opportunity to elevate himself beyond his previously somewhat meaningless and perhaps even debased lifestyle, into a holy kedushah, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation!

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May 2012
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