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This is how that darkness within us finds its way out: First it agrees with everything good we do.

When we choose to meditate, it tells us,
“Yes! Meditate! That way you will become a great sage!”

When we choose to do a good deed, it says,
“Yes! You are so wonderful! Think what others will do in return for this!”

Slowly, slowly, it convinces us that any good we do requires its approval. And then, you’ve fallen into its trap.

Do good without reason. Then there are no traps.

From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. To order Rabbi Freeman’s book, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, click here.
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Discussion (16)
January 29, 2013
mitzva
I think the adage is " Do the mitzvah only for the sake of the mitzvah
Anonymous
January 29, 2013
Consent
Sometimes the problem of some readers could be that they have a Greek/Roman mindset and trying to understand a Hebraic mindset/idiom is not easy with Greco/Roman minds. Maybe?.
John Michael Hart
UK
January 28, 2013
Amen
Please forward to ALL Government Officials who continually write EVERY Law and then are asking every individual to follow the Pharaoh blindly, without reason.
John Smith
FL
January 28, 2013
consent
this is beautiful -- simple, uncomplicated, and so easy!! no ego, no expectations. it's great - thank you!!
valerie
ohio
January 28, 2013
How darkness sneaks
We are all just pathways of good when we are at that time and place where it is needed. When we start asking if that good act will result in something, then the ego blocks the timing, usurps that energy and turns the opportunity to become a medium of good into an act of vanity.

That's what I got from it.
cecilia
New York
October 25, 2010
Dear rabbi Freeman
I may have been misled or I may have misunderstood Karp's point-of-view. Yet, I guess I understood your daily dose. Your daily doses are very clear and a true blessing to me. I'm a layman in judaism. I've been studying judaism for only two years. I know very little. I'm sorry if my comment was undue. You're a great rabbi! Thanks for sharing precious knowledge with us. Shalom!
José Flávio Nogueira Guimarães
Belo Horizonte, MG/Brazil
October 19, 2010
Response
I must say that I have no idea what Thomas or Jose are saying and what it has to do with what I wrote. I have the feeling that they are reading into my words something that is simply not there.
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
October 18, 2010
Good point, Karp!
But I guess one point does not replace the other. I understand Freeman's point. The must be an occasion for the use of each contention. As Aryeh Kaplan says we're half angel and half animal. The body is receptacle of the animal nature of man and the soul the receptacle of his angelical nature. Thereafter, there are times when we must release our animal drives and impulses but there are also times when they should be tamed by our soul, mind, the Divine nature in us. The middle way might be the balance.
José Flávio Nogueira Guimarães
Belo Horizonte, MG/Brazil
October 18, 2010
Not unhealthy, Shahid!
Reason, our ability to reason, is also from G-d.

Reason is often instrumental in preventing us from doing bad things;-

both to ourselves and to each other.

Reason is only apart from G-d when it becomes a form of idolatry; as if it were exclusive to everything else before G-d.

When you perform and act of kindness for someone else you are just as likely bringing that person from the irrational to the reasonable rather than the other way around.

Acts of kindness that may at first seem senseless can unharden the heart, and from there allow the mind to be more rational then previously.

Our reason, our ability to reason, is also from G-d.

It's okay, buddy!
Thomas Karp
New Haven, Ct.
October 18, 2010
Oy, Rabbi Freeman!
I think you've got it exactly wrong!

Nothing has entrapped humanity more then pitting the goodness of G-d against reason.

Yes, the mind without heart (compassion and mercy, kindness) is nothing; worse than nothing even at times.

We can't exist on pure reason (any of us, Jew or Gentile) anymore then we can breath pure oxygen.

G-d has made room amongst us for other considerations.

Yet, I tell you that the Talmud is true where it says in it that:

"The king leads with his mind whereas the fool leads with his heart."

Btw, Rabbi Freeman:

Have you ever seen the movie version of Chaim Potok's "The Chosen"?
Thomas Karp
New Haven, Ct.
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