Monday, October 02, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 30 - Mitzvah performance with more intention

The Gemara discusses the concept of a mitzvah that is brought about through one who violates a prohibition. The Rishonim explain that this principle only applies when the mitzvah cannot be performed unless one violates the prohibition. This principle teaches us a profound lesson regarding mitzvah performance. Very often we catch ourselves performing mitzvos by rote and we attempt to understand how this could have happened. The Gemara informs us that a mitzvah should be a conscientious effort, not just a mere performance of a daily ritual. If one can invalidate a mitzvah by performing it through a transgression, certainly one can enhance a mitzvah by performing it with the proper intention. We have been taught that HaShem rewards one for performing a positive action five hundred times more than for performing a negative action. If we would just improve our mitzvah performance even slightly, we would already be the beneficiaries of a great reward.