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Each mitzvah is filled with shining divine light.

2:1 Every Single Day

2:1 Every Single Day

Beginner Beginner
2:1 Every Single Day
Each mitzvah is filled with shining divine light.

Do not allow a single day to pass without performing a mitzvah, whether it be a "minor" or "major" mitzvah, as our Sages said, "Be careful [in Hebrew, 'zahir'] with a 'minor' mitzvah [as with a 'major' one]" (Avot 2:1);
the word "zahir" is an idiom of "They that are wise shall shine
[in Hebrew, 'yaz'hiru']" (Daniel 12:3). This means that the soul will shine and glow from a "minor" mitzvah even as it does from a "major" one, for "The Merciful requires the heart" (Zohar II:162b; Sanhedrin 106b).

The emphasis is on daily acts. Every single day is an important entity on its own. Thus it requires something concrete to show for itself, a light or illumination of its own that is effected by the performance of a mitzvah. To perform many mitzvot on one day make up for the lost opportunity of another day. (CF. Zohar I:129a and 224a on the significance of each individual day.) To the seeker of G‑d there is no difference between "major" and "minor" mitzvot: both are commands of G‑d and effect refinement and illumination of the soul.

This is a very significant matter, for then you know that you achieved something that day: you created an angel…

G‑d then provides that person with an angel that will help him….

When anyone performs commandments, each mitzvah he did ascends on high, stands before the Holy One, blessed is He, and says, "I am from so-and-so who did me." G‑d then provides that person with an angel that will help him. Likewise, G‑d provides him with an angel for every word of Torah that he listens to." (Zohar Chadash, Acharei: 47a) See also the verse: "He who does even a single mitzvah gains himself an advocate; and he who commits a single sin acquires an accuser." (Avot 4:11)

…And "if there be for him an angel, an intercessor…" (Job 33:23)

"Even if 999 [accusers] argue for his guilt, and one [advocate] argues in his favor, he is saved, as it is said, 'If there be with him an angel, an intercessor, one among a thousand…He is gracious to him.'" (Shabbat 32a)

This is indicated in the verse: "he who guards [in Hebrew, 'shomer'] the mitzvah will know no evil" (Ecclesiastes 8:5). That is, when you undertake the instruction stated, you must stand on guard from morning to evening for the opportunity to perform a mitzvah that may come your way. This is the implication of the word "shomer", as in "his father guarded [in Hebrew, 'shamar'] the matter" (Gen. 37:11). It is the remedy to attain "he will know no evil", i.e. precluding nocturnal emissions which are referred to as "evil".

To be mindful of mitzvot and to heed their performance protects man from sin.

This general principle is indicated in the verse "The kindness of G‑d is all day long [in Hebrew, 'kol hayom']" (Psalms 52:3); that is, one should perform kindness with G‑d, blessed is He, every single day.

[Adapted from Tzavaat Harivash (Kehot])

Rabbi Immanuel Schochet (1935–2013) wrote and lectured extensively on the history and philosophy of Chassidism and topical themes of Jewish thought and ethics. He was a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism. He was rabbi of Cong. Beth Joseph, and professor of Philosophy at Humber College, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov [“Master of the Good Name”], 1698–1760. A unique and seminal figure in Jewish history, revealed the chassidic movement, and his own identity as an exceptionally holy person, on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 1734. He passed away on the festival of Shavuot in 1760. He wrote no books, although many contain his teachings. (Also referred to as “the BeShT,” from an acronym of Baal Shem Tov.)
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