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Thought for the Day: S'char Mitzvah Mitzvah

The mishna in Avos (4:2) tells us that "s'char mitzvah mitzvah" -- the Rav mei'Bartenura (the rishon, not the wine) understands the mishna to be clarifying two things.  First, that reward one gets for doing a mitzvah is the opportunity to do another mitzvah.  This world is finite, whereas a mitzvah is connected with the infinite.  One cannot, therefore, truly realize the benefit of doing a mitzah in this world.  HaShem instead rewards our efforts by giving us even more opportunities for connecting with Him.  The Rav gives a second explanation of this mishna: the perceived reward/enjoyment of doing a mitzvah is itself a mitzvah!  That means that ones good attitude and enthusiasm in doing a mitzvah is in and of itself a mitzvah.  Which brings another mitzvah, which (since you were enthusiastic about the last mitzvah) just increases your enthusiasm and joy about having another opportunity, which is itself a mitzvah, which ... and on and on.

Of course it works the other way also... the best advice is: don't go there.  The next best advice is: at least let yourself feel yucky for doing the aveira.  Don't try to dress it up or justify it; it was an aveira, its over now (Baruch HaShem) and so just move on.

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