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Shabbat Parashat Korach 5778

Ein Ayah: The Value of a Plan to do a Mitzva

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 6:60)

Gemara: When two talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars) discuss together matters of Halacha in a calm manner, Hashem listens to them, as it says: “Then the fearers of Hashem had speech (nidberu) one with his friend, and Hashem listened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear Hashem and think of His Name” (Malachi 3:16). What does it mean, “For those who think of His Name”? Rabbi Ami says: Even if he thought to do a mitzva and he was prevented from performing it, the pasuk treats him like one who performed it.


Ein Ayah: The intellectual/spiritual enlightenment which is imbedded in the “chambers” of the details that make up all the elements of a halacha, transcends all the individual details and envelopes them in a manner that is more profound and lofty than it would seem from the details themselves. The greatness and delicateness of the deep idea behind the element of the mitzva are able to unite all the distinctions in a manner that they are able to provide a feeling of great satisfaction for those who seek to understand them.

Additionally, the highest gain one can extract from all the specific actions that are included in a mitzva is the actual fulfillment of the lofty main philosophy behind the mitzva, which penetrates with its greatness into all of the mitzva’s actions. Once these actions go from the potential to the actual, it is clearly discernable in the life of the individual who fulfills the mitzva and of the community of those who perform the mitzva.

It turns out, then, that the yearning for goodness, which is included in the hidden light of good actions, is the highest goal that people will reach in regards to the mitzvot. This is what turns life and the world around us into splendid things, as long as one has the lofty thought that he truly wants to actualize goodness through his action. If indeed it is his clear and pure intention to do the mitzva, then even if an extenuating circumstance prevents it from being carried out in practice, still the goal, which is the truth behind the action, is already met.

The lofty thought of planning to fulfill goodness in the world can be called “thinking about Hashem’s Name,” as He is the source of goodness. To the extent that the physical action is missing, out of no fault of the one who would like to perform it, there is still an effect of the desire for greatness being engraved on the soul in a manner that connects it to the light of Hashem. In this way, even without the fulfillment of the action of the mitzva, the spiritual light itself is impactful. Then, the spiritual form of the intended mitzva affects life and the world based on the idealistic desire to do good, as if the action took place, as the pasuk is understood.    

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