5 Feb 2016 | No Comments | written by Rabbi Yoel Glick | in Life of Service
The Ethics of the Fathers 1:3 declares:
“Do not be like servants who serve their master for the sake of receiving a reward, but rather be like servants who serve their master without the intent of receiving a reward.”
This is a hard teaching to fulfill; all of us have mixed motives in our spiritual life.
Some are serving God out of a sense of duty, others are looking for emotional fulfillment, and still others seek fame and acclaim. Even among those few that truly want God there is also a preponderance of motives. Together with sincere longing there is also a desire to be a great spiritual being, or to be freed from material obligations, or to reach spiritual highs and experience other planes of consciousness.
In trying to explain the right way to approach this teaching, the Hasidic Master, Dov Baer of Mezeritch gives the following analogy.
29 Jan 2016 | No Comments | written by Rabbi Yoel Glick | in Self-Transformation
Before his death, the Hasidic Master Reb Zusya of Anipol said:
“In the world to come, they will not ask me: ‘ why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
We each have a job to do for God. It is a task that has been given to us and no one else. It is a role for which we are uniquely suited. We have been given the specific skills and attributes that we need to fulfill our personal mission. They are within us and not outside of us. They are part of us and not someone else.
22 Jan 2016 | 3 Comments | written by Rabbi Yoel Glick | in Self-Transformation
When Swami Vidyatmananda, a westerner that had joined the Ramakrishna order was a probationer, he went to India to visit the headquarters of the Order. One day, he decided to leave the ashram in the outskirts of Calcutta and go into the city for the day to do some shopping. When he told his superiors his plans, one of the swamis inquired as to what he would do for food while he was there. He told the swami that he would simply go to a hotel to eat (thinking to himself that he could get a good western-style meal that way). The swami responded to his idea by suggesting that it would be better if he went to the order’s ashram in the city for his meals and offered to phone them for him. The swami then went on to explain that the members of the Order avoided eating in hotels and restaurants because of the low spiritual vibration of the food there.
“Food not prepared with devotion, not prepared with the idea that it is to be offered [to God] in the shrine – but just devised impersonally for making money by people with their minds full of gross thoughts – can adversely influence your spiritual growth.”