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Taking It to Heart-Part II

Based on a shiur by Rabbi Yitzchak Cohen

The Gra wrote in his will that the first work his children should try to publish should be his commentary on Sefer Mishlei because it teaches fear of Hashem and how to work on ones middot and this is the highest form of wisdom.

In his introduction to the Mesilas Yesharim, the Ramchal tells us that the key question a person should ask himself is, “What is my obligation in this world?” Every morning we recite the blessing, “Shelo asani goy, shelo asani oved,” (You did not make me a non- Jew, a slave) whereby we recognize that we have a different purpose in this world. Every individual has a particular mission to fulfill with the specific family, friends, and circumstances he was given. Overcoming the yetzer hara is the greatest pleasure a person can experience.

We should feel indebted to Hashem for all that He gives us. Each day He opens our eyes, straightens our limbs, and infuses us with renewed energy to face the challenges of the day. There are fifteen birchat hanehin that we recite every morning thanking Hashem for the gifts He bestows upon us. Mitzvot were not given for our enjoyment but rather as a way of expressing gratitude to Hashem for giving us the opportunity to live an observant Jewish life.


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