emunah, tefillah, a little mussar, and a shmeck of geula

Saturday, January 5, 2013

From Weak Want to Strong Need

As stated in the Mesillas Yesharim, the purpose of life is closeness to Hashem and deveikus (attachment) to Him. 

And we learn in Bilevavi Mishkan Evneh that the avodah of acquiring true ratzon (desire/will) to get close to Hashem is the root of everything. 

So where are you holding in your desire to get close to Hashem?

Are you pumped or do you merely want to get close to Him in much the same way that you want it to be a nice day outside?

Rabbi Itamar Schwartz goes on to tell us that if one does not truly want, but only wants to want, his whole foundation is built (to the extent that it’s built at all) on swamp land courtesy of his weak ratzon.  He may have a ratzon to get close to Hashem, but not it's strong enough to take him out of his comfort zone long enough to break a sweat.

As we said in EmunahSpeak: A Burning Need, wanting is passive and, as such, it’s not wired for tachlis.  If it so happens that that which was wanted actually comes to be, the fruition of that want was not in response to it.  A need, by contrast, is proactive and, by virtue of its fiery nature, it can (and usually does) clear a path for itself.

And so it goes for almost any situation.  Most of us want to learn.  How many need to?  Do you want to help others or do you need to help others?

And anticipating what it takes to come close to Hashem we also asked there:

Would you like (want) to connect Hashem or do you need to connect to Hashem?

The beginning of a person’s avodah is to inspire his ratzon more and more.  It’s to change a weak want into a strong need.

And only a need that has a laser like penetration of a soul on fire can shift one into gear sufficient to bring him closer to Hashem.