intentions bound to make you act

Following on the heals of our Torah about how the Reshaim can uplift the tzaddikim, the Noam Elimelech (Parashath Metzora) brings down another Torah explaining how Tzaddikim can raise up the mitzwoth of others that are performed without kavannah.

He explains the saying that ה' מצרף מחשבה טובה למעשה - HaShem counts good intentions as actions. He points out that the word choice doesn't actually mean that HaShem counts, rather HaShem, casts or fuses. This understanding of the word choice reveals a deeper understanding: HaShem takes mitzwoth that were done by rote, with no intention or thought and fuses them with our good intentions and thoughts, creating a complete and whole mitzwah.

[One caveat, this applies only to good intentions that were prevented from reaching the level of action because of extenuating circumstances, not because you wanted to do it, but just didn't feel like it.]

In a way this raises up the mindless mitzwoth that we do. But we know that the credit for a mitzwah goes to the one who completes the mitzwah, which should set off warning lights for us all. If we want to retain bragging rights over our mitzwoth, we have to mean them when we perform them.

I guess this sheds light on the מצוות צריכות כוונה - mitzwoth require intention discussion: the mitzwoth still end up being fulfilled without intention--the only question remains is if we ourselves we derive the benefit of these mitzwoth we perform without intention. I assume HaShem doesn't work on a first-come-first-served basis, rather He gives us priority in re-claiming our own mitzwoth.

Perhaps, better yet, HaShem enacts tikkunim between our neshama and others through pairing our mitzwoth together. In this way the Hassidic teaching that mitzwoth bind us to HaShem (מלשון צוות) may also extend to mitzwoth tying Bnei Yisrael together through HaShem's tikkunim performed through fusing our good intentions with the actions of others and our actions with the good intentions of others.


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