Question & Answer With My Yetzer Hara - Futile Mitzvos?
My Yetzer Hara asks:
If you are so concerned about honesty and truth, you have to admit that when you are "observing" a negative mitzvah, you are really not doing anything at all. Couldn't I rightfully say that right this very second I was observing a myriad of negative mitzvos? And now that I am on the subject, don't your positive mitzvos just evaporate after you commit an aveira? Your mitzvos are only being cancelled out by your aveiros my friend. Why do you even bother trying when the deck is stacked against you?
A Simple Jew answers:
Are you attempting to discourage me once again with a different approach?
The Mochiach of Polonoye (Rabbi Aryeh Leib - author of Kol Aryeh) taught that when a person restrains his natural inclination and does not violate a Torah prohibition, he doesn't simply remain in the same place as before as if he has done nothing; he actually takes a step upwards.
If by not doing something we are in reality doing something of great significance, you can only imagine the gigantic step upwards we take after doing a positive mitzvah. The performance of mitzvah does not just have value at the time it is performed, rather it is eternal. It creates a tremendous burst of energy that assists a person on the next occasion he has the opportunity to perform a mitzvah. Performing a mitzvah can thus be likened to rolling a snow ball down the side of a mountain that continually gains momentum as is rolls down further and further. So, doing just one mitzvah can result millions and trillions of mitzvos.
Performing a mitzvah cannot be viewed as a receiving a erasable tally mark, and refraining from committing a Torah prohibition cannot be seen as doing nothing. Each mitzvah we observe, whether positive or negative, increases our our connection to Hashem and elevates us closer to the tachlis of our creation.