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Rav Shlomo Freifeld on Mesilat Yesharim Print E-mail
Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem   

RamchalThe first two rungs of the ladder in Service of God are Zehirut and Zerizut. When a soul rises to perform a mitzvah, two things happen; there is preparation of the soul to rise and there is a step forward in the perfection of the soul. What are these two ingredients?


The Chiddushei haRim asks, we know that we shape our existence to a large extent even in the experience of wrapping ourselves in a Tallit and in our tefillin. How can we say that the person is creating anything for himself? What is the person’s contribution?

The shiver and the quiver that a person feels when putting on Tallit and Tefillin are his. He means that service of God is a relationship; the Creator and the insignificant human being. The old adage, “it takes two to tango,” is true here. The Master of the Universe instructed you to do 613 commandments; that is His part. The awe and the love is what we are supposed to give. A story is told of a man who went an entire week without eating due to the pleasure he derived Torah study.

When a Servant of God begins a mitzvah, he needs a preface; a Cheshbon haNefesh. He must then focused his attention on the fact that it is pleasure to perform a mitzvah. The greater a scholar a person becomes the more pleasure he perceives in the mitzvah and the more gratification he has in his soul towards a mitzvah; that itself is a mitzvah!

The poetry and the music of the relationship is in our hands. The feeling he puts into a mitzvah, completes the mitzvah.

Zerizut is the preface to the mitzvah. The root of the word is Zeir, or, Crown; it is to reach a level of nobility and aristocracy in our service of God.

In the Midrash Chachamim it refers to the 613 commandments as the 613 pieces of advice, whether we understand them or not. They are not capricious decisions of a despot.

We are all beginners in our relationship with God. We need the humility appropriate to a beginner.

They say that when the Chafetz Chaim would say Tachanun and reach the phrase, “And to us is shame,” his face would literally turn red in shame.

For us, the preface to a Mitzvah is to learn the Torah about the Mitzvah. Only then can we attempt wholeness of the Mitzvah.

When Rav Freifeld zt”l went to visit the Ribnitzer Rebbe, he overheard the Rebbe asking his wife for his special gartel. The Rebbe went crazy looking for his gartel. When Rav Freifeld had an opportunity, he asked the Rebbitzen what was going on. She told him that the Rebbe saw that Rav Freifeld was a “Choshevah Yid,” an important personage, so he had to wear a special gartel. There is no such law anywhere, but it came from the incredible awareness that the Rebbe had of everything he was doing. This is the awareness we must have when performing a Mitzvah. This is Zerizut!

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