RUN­NING TO DO MITZVOT

The Jewish Chronicle - - JUDAISM - RABBI JU­LIAN SIN­CLAIR

IF you have a chance to do a mitz­vah, do it right now! Not af­ter a cup of tea and the foot­ball’s fin­ished. Who knows, maybe you will get dis­tracted, or some­thing else will come up or the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing good will slip away and the mo­ment be lost. We can al­ways find ex­cuses and per­sua­sive rea­sons to pro­cras­ti­nate and do it later. This is an in­sis­tent re­frain in Jewish sources. “The zeal­ous move for­ward fast to do mitzvot”, teaches the Tal­mud (Pe­sachim 4a).

There is an ethic here that chal­lenges the un­ques­tion­ing trust in the flow of one’s own in­ner life which char­ac­terises much con­tem­po­rary spir­i­tual thought. There is cer­tainly a place for such trust. But there is also a place for recog­nis­ing that one’s own in­ner life may be marred by lazi­ness and ad­dic­tion to com­fort. Some­times you have to drop ev­ery­thing and do the right thing, now.

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