Develop yourself to the best of your ability
The Baal Shem Tov asks;
Why did G-d have to hang Mount Sinai over the Jewish people (threating them if they don’t accept the Torah He would cursh them…) as in any event they said, “We accept the Torah.” However the lesson is that, “Even when you’re not in the mood…”
(Baal Shem Tov)
… and your neighbor needs a listening ear, then you listen.
… and your neighbor needs help, then you help.
… and you have resolved to pray, then you pray.
Man’s task is to make this world a better place. For the other person who needs help, who needs a listening ear, for the world that needs repair, it is actually not of much importance whether you are in the mood to do your task. If a plant needs water and you don’t give it it dies, if a person needs food and you don’t give it he is hungry.
But what about prayer? Is it appropriate to pray to G-d when you are not in the right mood? Our aim should always be to pray to G-d with as much concentration as possible, if we are not in the mood, it is an extra challenge. It is this extra effort that makes the relationship deeper, because then you are not doing it because you expect something in return at that moment, but purely for the sake of the relationship itself.
That applies to prayer, that applies to tasks in the world. For how easy it is to listen to someone because then you can give advice and it makes you feel good. But listening and giving advice when you would rather be doing something else, that is really caring about your neighbor without self-interest.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Sources: Kesser Shem Tov, rabbi Yisroel, Bad Hair Day?
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