Monday, 18 July 2011

The Reward of a Mitzvah

Many times it is asked, what is the purpose of doing a Mitzvah. Why must I trouble myself to say a blessing or keep Shabbos, Kashrus, the Laws of Family Purity. Or one might ask, if I already know that Kashrut means not eating meat and milk, why should I learn further about it. Why is it important to have a library of Torah related books and to set aside time each day to learn.

It is easy when one is a Kallah or Chatan to think a one hour shiur that outlines the most important points of preparing for the Mikvah is enough. Why learn further, what else can there possibly be to know.

The Torah teaches the reward of a Mitzvah is another Mitzvah but we do not always see how this plays out in reality.  All too often we get caught up in the busy-ness of life and forget to stop a moment to take stock.

In truth, if we take a moment to reflect upon how our lives are unfolding, there are times that it is easy to see that one mitzvah does infact lead to another and another and G-d willing to many more.

Here is an example from our life. We have already introduced to readers of this blog our Mikvah Project and the follow on Mitzvah Project - the Bayit Chadash.

In truth these Mitzvah Projects began in the first few weeks of our marriage. As a new Chatan and Kallah, we found ourselves as guests at the home of a Rabbi who happened to have on his bookshelf a nice looking book on the laws of Family Purity. During the stay, we had the opportunity to browse through the book a little and were very impressed by how clearly it is written.

Yes we could have left the experience at that, having enjoyed browsing through a well written book, but instead we chose to write an email of thanks to the author. Within 24 hours we had a reply written in a very caring tone and of course with Mazal Tov for our being newly married.

The book of course is Family Purity - A Guide to Marital Fulfillment by Rabbi Fishel Jacobs.

When we were able to, we purchased our own copy and remained in touch with Rabbi Jacobs. We did not expect how things would unfold.

If one takes a look at our website, you will find that this initial email has in deed lead to other Mitzvos.

When we considered starting our Mikvah Project, we turned to Rabbi Jacobs for guidance and he was excited about the idea and kindly provided us with a letter of Approbation. When this project expanded to become our Bayit Chadash - Wedding Project, Rabbi Jacobs once again provided a letter of Approbation supporting this worthy cause.

It is always special to identify Torah being played out in ones life and so we see a clear teaching from Pirkei Avos, in Chapter 4 Mishna 5, Rabbi Yishmael ben Rabbi Yosay said: "He who studies Torah in order to teach is given the opportunity to study and to teach; and he who studies in order to practice, is given the opportunity to studyand to teach, to observe and to practice."

We initially contacted Rabbi Jacobs both to thank him for his beautifully written book and to improve our practice of these very important laws. Now we have taken our learning with Rabbi Jacobs further still and become qualified as Chatan Teacher and Kallah Teacher.

If you are newly Chatan and and or Kallah preparing for Chuppah or have recently married or even have been married for a while and require a refresher, please do contact Rabbi Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear. We would be happy to teach you the laws of Family Purity.

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