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Saturday, June 15, 2024 - 9 Sivan 5784
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Celebrity Status
Your favorite (fill in one depending on what you're into) actor, musician, entertainer, politician, author, philosopher, is coming to town, and as a devoted fan you have been given the honor of taking him/her around.

The thrill, the excitement, the unique privilege of being able to spend time in this celebrity's presence will be yours. Also yours is the knowledge that by accompanying him/her for a day you will be helping this important personage to further enhance his career or spread his message.

When the day is over and you are offered payment, you balk. "At the very least, accept reimbursement for your expenses," you are told.

In complete sincerity, you explain that the reward for your services is to have been of assistance to your favorite celebrity. Your payment is that you were able, in a small way, to become closer to your hero during this day together.

Later, you get a thank-you note in the mail and a small gift as a token of appreciation. But you will always consider the true reward to be the time that you spent together with the distinguished individual.

"The reward for a mitzva is the mitzva," Judaism teaches.

Each time we do a mitzva, another notation is made in G-d's Great Ledger. We bring more blessings and goodness into our lives and the lives of those we love through doing mitzvot.

But, according to our Sages, the true reward for the mitzva is simply that we have had the unique opportunity and privilege to become closer to G-d, to strengthen our bond with our Infinite Creator.

Mitzva is most commonly and correctly translated as "commandment." A commandment is always issued by a "commander." When we fulfill G-d's commandments we are connecting with the "Commander" in a unique and intimate way. By fulfilling His commandments we are chosing to strengthen our essential bond with G-d through binding ourselves to Him.

A rock, a tree, an ant, a horse, are all G-d's creatures. But none of them have been given the privilege of performing mitzvot, of connecting to their source through choosing to do G-d's will.

For that finite moment in G-d's infinite existence that we are performing the mitzva, we have assisted G-d, so to speak, in helping to perfect the world, in spreading His message and enhancing His career.

Never mind the notation in the Heavenly Ledger that you know is being inscribed. Never mind the thank-you that comes in the way of additional blessings and goodness for you and your loved ones. The reward of the mitzva is the mitzva itself. The reward is the opportunity of having the privilege of becoming closer to G-d through these simple mundane acts-to be a Jew, and not a rock or a tree or an ant or a horse-a Jew who can perform mitzvot and create a stronger bond with the Ultimate Celebrity.



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