Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Inner Child & The Drill Instructor

(Picture courtesy of

On numerous occasions my oldest daughter and son will clean up a room or help out with a chore without ever being asked. However, the second they are asked to do one of these chores, they frequently respond, "It's too hard! You ALWAYS make us clean up everything! I can't do it all by myself!!"

It struck me that this phenomenon is mirrored in the avodas Hashem of adults as well. While it may be easy for us to choose to adopt new minhagim or take on additional chumros, we find it increasingly more difficult to do an every-day mitzvah simply because Hashem commanded us to do so.

The inner-child inside us only wants to do what it wants to do, not be forced to comply with rules; it rebel's against "The Drill Instructor's" direct orders.

Just as a father is pleased when his children help out around the house without being asked, Hashem is also pleased at the times when we go beyond the letter of the law in our avodas Hashem.

However, if our avodas Hashem is only based upon our own choices and performing our will at the times we so desire, then our Father's nachas ceases to be nachas.


At June 12, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hence I have heard it explained that this is pshat in "Gadol Hametzuveh Veoseh M'mi She'eino Metzuveh Veoseh"

At June 12, 2008 at 12:35:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Concerning the 1st post, which was mine as well)
See page 40 in Rabbi Akiva Tatz's "Letters to a Buddhist Jew" where he refers to this as a basic interpretation of "Gadol Hametzuveh.." bc of the innate response to a command from others

At June 12, 2008 at 3:15:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

enjoyed this post. No one likes being told what to do: it's part of nature. If we realize how much we owe G-d it makes things a bit easier and you can do it out of love ehich of course is the highest level.

At June 13, 2008 at 11:35:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true. I often sense myself wanting to skip davening precisely because I feel it's being forced on me. It's nice to read that I'm not the only one.


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