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To Die for G-d, or to Live for Him?

20 Menachem Av, 5745 · August 7, 1985

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To Die for G-d, or to Live for Him?: 20 Menachem Av, 5745 · August 7, 1985

G-d longs for our physical world to become a dwelling place for Him. This mission can only be accomplished by a living person. Man's aspiration should never be to "escape" this world, and certainly never to endanger his own life. Even Rabbi Akiva, who longed his entire life to give up his life for G-d, did not actively pursue this goal. To the contrary, a person must preserve and safeguard his life, and devote his entire being toward elevating the world around him.
Lubavitcher Rebbe
To Die for G-d, or to Live for Him?
20 Menachem Av, 5745 · August 7, 1985
Disc 44, Program 173

Event Date: 20 Av 5745 - August 07, 1985

G-d longs for our physical world to become a dwelling place for Him. This mission can only be accomplished by a living person. Man's aspiration should never be to "escape" this world, and certainly never to endanger his own life. Even Rabbi Akiva, who longed his entire life to give up his life for G-d, did not actively pursue this goal. To the contrary, a person must preserve and safeguard his life, and devote his entire being toward elevating the world around him.

As far as balancing the needs of the body with the needs of the soul, Torah instructs us: "Safeguard your life." When a person strengthens his body in order to fulfill this Mitzvah, then it does not reflect an idolization of the body, but rather scrupulous devotion to God's Will - through which the material transforms into spiritual; in this manner, the body becomes a vessel which completely serves the soul.

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