Devarim 5774 – Excitement Over Mitzvos

All of you approached me and said, “let us send men ahead of us and let them spy out the Land for us.” (Devarim 1:22)

Peninim on the Torah compares the behavior of the Jews when sending of the Meraglim (Spies) and their behavior when they received the Torah. When they came to Moshe to send the Spies, it was in a disrespectful way. The young pushed the elders and the elders pushed in front of the leaders. By the Receiving of the Torah, there was proper respect. The young let the elders go first and the elders let the leaders go before them.

The Kli Yakar points out that the Jews’ behavior at the Receiving of the Torah was actually improper. Although it looked like a good thing, the Jews should have all wanted a piece of the Torah so much that they should have rushed to be first. For spiritual mattes, the Jews were patient. But when it came to physical matters (i.e. when the Jews sent out the Meraglim), the Jews pushed and all rushed to the front.

I once heard that a person is not held accountable for not performing mitzvos with excitement. But if that same person performs other acts with excitement, then he is punished if he doesn’t do the same for spiritual matters.

I’ll share with you a personal example which still scares me. Before I was religious, there was a particular band which I liked. They were in concert in New Jersey (which is where I lived at that time) but I was unable to see that show. But, I learned that they would also be in concert in Washington, D.C. (4 hours away) a short time later. So, I drove to DC and excitedly went to the concert.

After I pass away from this world, I’m going to be asked, “you drove 4 hours for a concert. Did you do the same for something spiritual? Did you have the same excitement for something Jewish?”

This is the type of question everyone is asked. Do we behave the same way (or better) for spiritual matters as we do for physical matters?

Good Shabbos!
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to see previous Divrei Simcha on the Parsha, please go to OR > Torah Study

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