helping us (all) along

Rav Ginsburg (Intro to the Kabbalah of the Ariz"l p.185) brings down the Baal Shem Tov on kiyyum mitzwoth, performing the mitzwoth: The mitzwoth are already prepared almost entirely in advance. The small action that we do wouldn't even be considered מכה בפטיש - the prohibition on Shabbath of performing the miniscule finishing touches of an actual labor or melachah. Instead, the Baal Shem Tov explains, we are considered a מסייע שאין בו ממש - a helper who really isn't doing anything at all. Still, he goes on, HaShem considers our actions (that are performed for His sake) as if we had performed the entire mitzwah and we get credit for all of the tremendous affects the mitzwah has on all of the upper realms.

This evoked for me the image of a son helping his father with some truly difficult task by playing with his toy tools next to his father while the father performs the actual hard labor.

In the end the father steps back, picks up his son and says, there it's done, we fixed it.

And the son beams, which makes the dad smile.

[sorry to the women reading, I actually wrote the image genderless first, but it's much less poignant that way, and truth be told, I imagined a father and son.]


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