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Thought for the Day: Surrounding Yourself, Imbibing Into Yourself, and Immersing Yourself Into Torah and Mitzvos

I am learning Mishna Brura with a bachur in Telshe; we are learning straight through from the beginning, including every Biur Halacha.  We started at his request when he realized that he actually needs to know halacha just to live and (being a teenager) he doesn't necessarily pay as much attention as he should for the 20 minutes a day of halacha after breakfast.  I also need to know halacha just to live, so it's a good match.

We just got to hilchos tzitzis and learned that part of the mitzvah is to have kavana for the purpose of the mitzvah.  Usually we don't need that, but the Torah tells us the purpose: l'ma'an tizk'ru -- in order to remember to do Torah and mitzvos.  (This is not "mitzvah tricha kavana" discussion; this is actually part and parcel of the mitzvah.)  I mentioned (being a show off) that t'fillin and sukkah also each have their own required kavana.  He said, "T'fillin?  What kavana do I need for that?"  I said, "You'll see when we get there."  He said, "I need to know before tomorrow morning."  Darn kids.  Me and my big mouth.  (Actually it was a bit embarrassing that I couldn't tell him right off... after all, I also had to know before the next morning and actually should have known that morning.  Sigh...)  In order to be better prepared, I am writing a short summary for myself.  To whit:

As mentioned, the required kavana by tzitzis is l'ma'an tizk'ru es kol mitzvosai v'asisem osam -- in order to remember all of HaShem's mitzvos and to do them.  By t'filin: l'ma'an t'hi'yeh Toras HaShem b'ficha -- in order that the Torah of HaShem should be in your mouth; ie, your intellect, mind, and desires should all be bound to fulfilling HaShem's Torah.  By sukkah: l'ma'ad yeidu doroseichem -- in order that you and all of your descendents should know HaShem and His relationship with them.

Interestingly, it seems that to remember to do the mitzvos only requires surrounding yourself with reminders.  Keeping your mind on task and desires in control requires imbibing the torah and making it part of you.  To pass our great and precious heritage on to the subsequent generations requires immersing yourself totally in Torah and Mitzos.

I hope that helps me to stay on track tomorrow morning.  By the way, at the rate we are learning, it looks like we should be making a siyum in 5805 or thereabouts.  You are all, bli neder, invited.  Should be quite a party.


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