Monday, March 14, 2011

Discussion: Your Favorite Mitzvah

Since it's the first day back, I'm throwing a softball.

What's your favorite mitzvah?

When all's said and done, I would say avoiding embarrassing other people. I try to put a lot of effort into that.

What do I look forward to improving? Kashrut. Only because I want to be an awesome host one day. So really, I want to improve my observance of hospitality, and kashrut is a means to an end :)

I guess I'm not surprised that interpersonal mitzvot come to my mind first. One day, I'll be an expert in mussar (not the fire and brimstone kind).

So what does this teach me? That I actually need to be more committed to the mitzvot between man and Gd. They don't come easily to me, and certainly not now. Gd and I are currently having issues. And while people have encouraged me to yell at Hashem as much as I need to, I apparently default to my four-year-old self and the silent treatment.


  1. My favourite is probably lighting shabbat candles. There's something about the pre-shabbat rush, then lighting candles and time seems to just slow down. The whole week I am so ridiculously busy with work and class and homework and occasionally washing my dirty dishes and such. Lighting candles ends all of that for me and begins Shabbat, which is so special and important. It's a little time where I can say my own personal prayer about whatever. It's lovely!

  2. The Curmudgeonly Israeli Giyoret says:

    Favorite mitzva? Wow, I'd have to think about that. Until I trhink of something real, I'll say throwing my treif meat to the dogs. My kids had a kindergarten teacher who always repeated that to them. That we throw the dogs the treif meat because they didn't bark at bnai yisrael when they went out of Mitzrayim (Egypt).

    Vesamachta bechagecha? "You shall be happy in your holiday" (usually interpreted as Succot)We made wine one year, and it turns out that grape season, plus time for the wine to ferment, comes out at Succot in Israel. And the grape is the only fruit that naturally has sugarfor yeast food and yeast on its peel in order to ferment naturally.

  3. Why do you find the need to put effort into NOT embarrassing people? Are the people around you so vulnerable to your devastating wit, and you can barely hold your tongue back?

  4. I LOVE your description of giving God the silent treatment! very good way to put it.

    sometimes we just don't know what to say to Hashem. We may be angry but not ready to yell. At those times it is beneficial to simply say "I don't know what to say to you." and if more words come then say them... if they don't, don't. You wont be in this place forever. We all go through times where our feelings towards God aren't exactly... holy.
    You have been through a lot. Hashem isn't just sitting around waiting for you to get your act together. He's just waiting til you need Him next. He's patient.

    I never thought about my favorite mitzvah. that's interesting! I need to think about that one for a while...

  5. Mark - Yikes! I'm reckoning she meant that she liked to go out of her way to make people feel good, comfortable and at ease with her.

    People have insecurities. Simply not purposing to embarrass someone is good... but going out of out ways to make people feel confident in our presence is a whole different level.

    (Chavi, totally correct me if I'm wrong here!)

  6. And here I thought this would be a super boring post :D

    Mark, I like the way you think, lol...might be closer to the truth than I'd like to admit. But Elle is also right. And you can embarrass people in ways we don't even normally think about. It's hard to put into words, but I think Elle had a very nice interpretation.

  7. "I actually need to be more committed to the mitzvot between man and Gd. They don't come easily to me, and certainly not now."

    Me too!

    "Gd and I are currently having issues. And while people have encouraged me to yell at Hashem as much as I need to, I apparently default to my four-year-old self and the silent treatment."

    Me too!

    My favorite has always been the Amidah, since the day I started saying it. I even added Ma'ariv just so I could say it more, and I haven't missed one yet.

    My hardest is Shabbat. I live at home with a family who doesn't like religion, and it's lonely. I have started to enjoy Havdalah, however.

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  9. That's a good question, a difficult question. And to clarify, are you referring to the 613 or more the slang which includes halachot and minhaggim?
    My favorite? Yishuv Ha'aretz, living in and building the Land of Israel, our historic homeland. It has given me great strength.

  10. I have taken G-d to task before for things he has promised, but (I think) I have never crossed the line to disrespect and I hope I never will. It is OK to be angry. It is OK to question. I do not believe it is OK to be disrespectful or disobedient.

    I find, however, that no matter how angry I am, if I force myself to open your mouth and start to praise him, that all the negativity floods right out of me with the torrent of beautiful words and light floods in instead. It's very difficult to drop the pride and get started sometimes though.