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Do a mitzvah

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012 - 4:34 pm

Following my blog from last week, I got feedback from many readers who commented on Leibel’s generosity to his sister. I thank you all for your kindness, but there is something that I think needs to be said:

Leibel, like the rest of our children, thank G-d, is a normal child. He sometimes argues with his siblings and even gets into fights; he is not always a "tzadik" who gives in and forgives...

In fact, this incident is a lesson that could be applied to every child, which I'd like to share, especially with those of us who are educating young children.

We sometimes believe that the only way to get a young child to be nice is for his or her own benefit. We may ask the child to give something to a friend or a sibling so they will get some reward in the future. We may explain to them that if they are rude to others, people will be rude to them, and if they are nice, they'll get the same treatment from others.

But there is another way of getting them to make the right choices - do a mitzvah! You may not get any benefit out of it, but you’ll have done a good deed that will make your creator proud of you. You'll be surprised how readily small children accept that. By explaining this concept to them, you will have taught them a great lesson for life - it's not all about you. We are not here merely to serve ourselves; we are here to serve a higher calling.

Comments on: Do a mitzvah

Morah Faiga wrote...

Thank you for this follow-up story Rabbi. When I read last week's story, I smiled...because I have seen Leibel be a 'normal' boy :-)

For me, your story was a perfect example of the saying "the reward for doing a mitzvah, is the mitzvah". That is all.

If we remember that concept everyday, then each mitzvah truly stands on its own rather than as part of some larger transaction where we expect reward or punishment.

MOSHIACH wrote...

MOSHIACH TIMES Bobov dancing with klosenberg

Johan wrote...

I really eenoyjd reading your blogs. I believe you are truly blessed to have landed in such a beautiful spot and wonderful congregation. You are right, you couldn't have found a better mentor than Rabbi George, because he is passionate about that role.As someone who also has a passion about my work, and feel that it is my spiritual calling, I know what really good fortune it is to have that.I wish you the very best, as you settle into life here. KR