Sunday, August 29, 2010

Simple Paradoxi

The greatest revelations are to be found not in meditation, study and prayer, but in the mundane world --but only if you would rather be meditating, studying and praying.

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The chassid Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai was a lifelong oved, one who devotes himself to the service of his Creator by perfecting his character and behavior and striving to attain a true love and awe of the Almighty through meditation and prayer. For decades, he deprived himself of all physical comforts in order to refine his nature. Before his passing, however, he expressed regret at having weakened his body with such an unrelenting regimen. Perhaps, had he not been so hard on himself, he would have lived to observe even one more mitzvah. "Thirty years to sleep on a bench!" he said. "To put on tefillin one more time is far more valuable than to sleep on a bench for thirty years!"

Later, chassidim said: "True. But to appreciate the value of tefillin as Rabbi Yaakov Mordechai did, one must first sleep on a bench for thirty years…"

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