Rebbetzin Wendy Richard
One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah. (Pirkei Avot 4:2)
מצוה גוררת מצוה. (אבות ד:ב)
We are currently in the period during which we recite chapters from Ethics of the Fathers each Shabbos afternoon.
At the end of each chapter, we recite the following verse: “Rabbi Chanania ben Akashia says: The Holy One Blessed is He wished to confer merit upon Israel, therefore He gave them Torah and mitzvot in abundance…”1
mitzvahs should never be seen as a burden. Through His mitzvahs, Hashem gave us the greatest gift – the gift of connection. Each time we perform a mitzvah, it is a special opportunity to connect with Hashem.
The verse states: “You should safeguard the observance of all the commandment that I am commanding you today…”2 Many explanations are given as to why the word “mitzvah, commandment” is written in the singular form and not the plural – “mitzvot, commandments” – which would seem more contextually appropriate.
Perhaps the message is that we should try to find one mitzvah in particular that resonates most with us and perform that mitzvah with extra commitment and passion.
We must certainly aspire to keep all the mitzvahs, even those which perhaps appear more difficult. But, Hashem has gifted us with so many paths that lead to Him, so why not begin our journey on the path that we can navigate most clearly. Having started this journey, we can be assured that we will perform many more mitzvahs along the way, as it states: “One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah.”3
This Shavuos, let us find that one additional mitzvah that speaks to us and resolve to keep it faithfully. Remember, though, that is only the beginning!
Hashem is waiting. Make that connection!
Tractate Makkot 23b, based on Isaiah 42:21