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Thought for the Day: Avodas HaShem is Meant to be Challenging

You know why those birds are so angry?  It's because those awful pigs want to eat their eggs.  Not only that, but every time you think you have finally made the world safe for the unborn and defenseless, more pigs come; oh no!  New kinds of pigs (cute zeidy ones, helmeted ones, baby ones...) and new defenses.  Will it never end?  We certainly hope not; we are having way too much fun figuring out how to use our birds more effectively, how to use our birds different skills better, and also seeing what kinds of schemes those pigs concoct!  Well... of course I mean that the game creator has concocted.

The Mesilas Yesharim while describing the trait of z'rizus (alacrity/willingness/promptness/whatever) reveals to us that the merit of serving HaShem only accrues if we had to overcome obstacles and worked hard.  If we did the same actions, but without struggling, there would be no merit.  That means that the challenges we face in our lives are not impediments to avodas HaShem.  In fact, those challenges are actually the enablers of avodas HaShem!  Isn't that cool?

Now some of you are going to object that I am taking the Ramchal out of context.  The full text of that section is more like:
The physicality of man is very coarse and dark.  That coupled with our lusts and desires makes any sort of progress very difficult.  The merit of serving HaShem only accrues if we work very hard.
"Hah!", you'll tell me, "we have to work hard to merit avodas HaShem because the system makes things difficult.  You got it backwards."  I shall push back (of course).  R' Avigdor Miller states, in his introduction to the M'silas Yesharim, that the G"ra is known to have said there is not even a single extra word in the first eight chapters.  (I don't think he meant there more extra words after that, only that he had not dissected the rest of the sefer with as much precision.)  So it is not possible that the Ramchal would tell us an obvious inference we can draw ourselves.  That is, the Ramchal is not telling is that it's challenging and so you have to work hard (which is obvious).  Rather, he it telling us that to merit avodas HaShem, one must work hard and therefore the Creator has made for us a challenging world (which is an insightful chidush).

You know how addicting Angry Birds is?  You should try living -- it's a blast!

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