Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 38 - Remnants of a mitzvah keep one from falling

The Gemara states that shiyarei mitzvah, the remnants of a mitzvah performance, can prevent punishment form occurring. Proof to this is from the waving of the sacrifices, which was not an essential part of the sacrifice, yet the waving would ward off harmful winds and dews. What is the significance in performing the remnants of a mitzvah? Regarding the leftover matzah and maror that the Jewish People brought out with them from Egypt, the Sfas Emes explains that although the essence of the mitzvah performance is reckoned with in heaven, the remnants can protect one in this world. Furthermore, one who performs even the remnants of the mitzvah will be strengthened when he has a period of falling in his spiritual quests. This is the meaning of the Medrash that states that one must remember the Exodus from Egypt even by night, as night symbolizes a time of struggle and failure. One who performs the remnants of the mitzvah will be protected even in the dark nights when one is more prone to falling and struggling. Thus, one should always ensure that he performs a mitzvah whole-heartedly and with joy, so he will always have the protection of the mitzvah.