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Motivation to Act

Motivation to Act

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Despite the hefty price tag, many successful companies invest in motivational speakers and workshops to inspire members of the company to work as a team. The expense is necessary because a motivated team maximizes productivity. And productivity is the bottom line in the business world.

The Torah describes serving G‑d with the verse: “For this thing is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”

This seems to be the opposite of human experience. Maybe it is “close” for us to serve G‑d with our mouths (by praying or saying words of Torah) or by acting as G‑d wants (by doing mitzvot). But how is it “close” or accessible for us to serve G‑d with our hearts? Isn’t it difficult to generate feelings of love and awe of G‑d?

Yet the Torah is not demanding that we feel exploding fireworks of passion towards G‑d. It’s simply telling us to motivate our hearts to want to do the acts commanded within. How? By choosing to think about and focus on G‑d’s greatness as our Creator and the Creator of our world. This should help us muster the motivation necessary to tear ourselves away from a computer screen or get off the couch to pray—or do whatever G‑d wants from us at this moment.

So while it’s nice to be able to feel totally in love with G‑d, if that is not possible, then we can at least feel motivated to serve G‑d.

That’s why it says “in your heart,” followed by “that you may do it.” We’re definitely capable of creating a minimal amount of emotion so that we want to do what G‑d wants, as well as to keep away from what He doesn’t want.

Because In Judaism, action is the bottom line.

Tanya Bit: I can use my mind as a tool to motivate myself to do what G‑d wants from me.

(Inspired from Chapter 17 of Tanya)

Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
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