Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Metoch Shelo Lishmo Bo Lishmo, says NPR News!

I heard an interesting piece from the NPR Morning Edition today (link here). Tovia Smith was interviewing different professors and business people about whether it is better to give charity for the wrong reason or not give at all (unless you're doing it for the right reasons). The story said that these days it pays a lot more for companies to give to charity and that these days it's a must for most businesses!

Since the Torah has the same question about learning Torah, doing mitzovs and tzedaka, this piece caught my attention. The Talmud says that a person should learn Torah even when it's not for its' own sake in order that eventually he will come to learning Torah for its' own sake (lishmo). I once heard that chassidus says that the wording metoch shelo leshmo bo lishmo can be read as within (metoch) the shelo lishom is already bo lishmo meaning that even when a person does a good thing with the wrong intention inside, on a deeper level, he is really doing it with the right intentions also. Which brings me to the main point, the reporter said in the end of the piece:

"It may be increasingly hard to fool both consumers and college admissions officials, but it's also true that those who start out giving for the wrong reasons are often changed by the experience and end up wanting to give more for the right ones."

These are the Torah's sentiments. This really shows that the Torah has penetrated the deepest levels of society that also non-Jews understand these Torah values and ideals very well and speak about them. This shows, of course, that we have preapared the world fully down to the "lowest of places" for the revelation of God in this world, and are standing ready for the complete and final redemption. All we need now is for the King Messiah to come and redeem us all out of this dreamy state of exile that we are currently in.


Benyomin Aaron Patzik said...

Awesome post brewski. I hope you all are having some epic chess games.
Come to think of it, it was this time last year that I was playing chess with you in 770! Crazy to think that that was a whole YEAR ago, wtf this year went by in a jiffy.
So just a quick chess drushah while i'm at it: it is specifically the pawn, the lowliest of pieces, that elevates to become the Queen, the ruler of pieces.
Well I guess thats a 'piece'-out, brew-ha-ha

Dovid Chaim said...

I wish I got to play chess this time around. but I went to the ohel instead. I'll have to make it up later byH. that chess game of ours is exactly what I was thinking about too. we should try to keep our language clean, this is a holy place after all. Thanks for the nice comment Benny. Hope to talk soon.