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equal before GD if they have sincerely dedicated themselves to Him (Berachos 5b).

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

If one person does more and another does less, they are both equal before G-d if they have sincerely dedicated themselves to Him (Berachos 5b).

All that can be asked of people is to do whatever is within their means. No one is expected to do more than one can, but by the same token, anyone who does less than that is derelict. For example, people of meager means who give a small amount of money are considered to have performed that mitzvah satisfactorily if they have given whatever they can, whereas wealthy people who give a thousand times that much but could have given more are considered derelict in their performance of this mitzvah.
The key to proper fulfillment of a mitzvah is dedication. One who performs a mitzvah perfunctorily may seek to get away with the bare minimum required for its fulfillment, whereas someone who is dedicated will invest himself in the mitzvah to the very maximum.
This dedication must be to G-d. While it is praiseworthy to dedicate oneself to the community or to friends, the recipients of one’s benevolent actions may be so grateful to the benefactor that the latter may get carried away by this outpouring of gratitude, and believe that one has done enough. The only true judge of how much one can and should do is God; hence, it is only a sincere dedication to God that can lead one to perform mitzvos to the fullest of one’s capacities.

Today I shall …
… try to sincerely fulfill my obligations toward G-d and toward my fellow man by doing the utmost within my means.

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Tags: Commentary & Opinion · JEWISH LOVE · Jewish World & History · Parasha & Religion

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