Nov 25, 2009

Two Approaches

You are presented with an opportunity to get involved with a project.

Approach #1:
You consider whether you have the time, talent, brains, money, wherewithal to get involved.

Approach #2:
If the project is worthwhile you jump right in because who you are and what you have don't matter.

Approach #1 is a rational approach.  It's calculated to see whether it makes sense for you to be a part of it.  Approach #2 is l'maala min ha'sechel, above rational calculations.  If the thing needs to get done, hineini, I am here, count me in.

Approach #1 makes a lot of sense.  Approach #2 does not.  But many amazing things have been done with Approach #2.  This approach often entails mesirus nefesh which is also l'maala min ha'sechel.  Those, in our history, who chose to be moser nefesh usually did not consult the Shulchan Aruch or their rabbi.  Their decision came from a part of the neshama that is sometimes called the Pintele Yid, sometimes Atzmus.  It's what motivated the 12 Chashmonaim and Elozor (see Rashi V'Zos Ha'Bracha 33:11) to fight the myriads of Greeks.

Even today there are people who make decisions based on Approach #2.  Boruch Hashem, the decisions are usually not life-threatening.  The results are remarkable.

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