web analytics
July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Key to Success

Rabbi Kook has good news. If you are a loser, all is not lost. You too can be a winner. You too can succeed. How? Through t’shuva.
The Key to Success

Modern western culture encourages man to channel his will toward the more negative aspects of life. Society’s passions and pulls are so powerful that a person soon loses sight of what’s good, and begins to glorify and worship the bad. The push toward success is so great, everything becomes permissible in the fight to achieve it. Vice becomes an acceptable norm. The will for goodness, man’s most basic desire, is shackled in sin. Only the power of t’shuva can save it.

Rabbi Kook writes:

The constant focus of a person’s thoughts on t’shuva builds a person’s character on a noble foundation. He constantly fills himself with a sensitive spirit, which places him on the spiritual foundation of life and existence.

When t’shuva constantly fills the heart, it reinforces in the person the great value of a spiritual life, and reinforces in him the great foundation that a good will is everything. All of the talents in the world are merely to implement the person’s will to do good, which becomes stamped into his being through the light of constant t’shuva. A great influx of God’s spirit falls constantly over him, and a holy will increases in him, far surpassing the aspirations of ordinary men. He comes to recognize the positive value of true success — the will for goodness, which is solely dependent on the person himself, and not on any external condition (Orot HaT’shuva, 9:1).

Thus it is t’shuva which strengthens a person’s longing for goodness. It is t’shuva which gives him the spiritual light to break free from the darkness of sin. It is t’shuva which revitalizes and restores his good will. When the spiritual world opens before him, he realizes that talents are not ends in themselves, but the means in serving God. One realizes that the goal is not just to be a good singer, but to sing the praises of God. The goal is not just to be a good writer, but to use one’s talent as a writer to bring people closer to their Creator. The greatness of one’s talent is not the measure of success, but rather the direction it takes. Nor is public renown always the yardstick. Rabbi Aryeh Levin, the “Tzaddik of Jerusalem,” lived a life of one good deed after another, but outside of Israel, he was hardly known at all. Who in God’s eyes do you think was a greater success, Rabbi Aryeh Levin or Elvis Presley, who was known all over the world? The answer is obvious when we judge our lives by Jewish standards, and not by the standards of western culture.

Rabbi Kook teaches that by attaching oneself to God’s will for the world, a person brings his life into harmony with the positive flow of existence. In the process, a person’s own willpower is fantastically strengthened, for he has plugged himself into the Source of all sources, the Power of all powers, Will of all wills, King of all kings. People who attain this level possess a superhuman energy and drive. Our forefather, Yaakov, went years with almost no sleep. King David would sleep only a tiny portion of the night. Tzaddikim like Rabbi Aryeh Levin, Rabbi Kook, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, and the Rebbe of Chabad, were known to fill up all of their days, their evenings, and their nights with endless study, teaching, meetings, prayer and good deeds. The person who is strengthened by a holy will, and an influx of God’s spirit, comes to know that the zenith of success is in channeling one’s will toward goodness, and that this, in and of itself, is the highest attainment in life, independent of his status in society, and other external factors such as honor and fame.

“This success is the greatest happiness, greater than all other treasures. Only this success brings joy to the whole world and all of existence. For a good will which is always active in the soul transforms all of life toward goodness” (Ibid).

Thus we learn that the striving to be a good person is the key to success and true happiness — to a happiness centered in God. A happiness which a man acquires, not only in this world, but also in the World to Come, where money, and honor, and fame don’t really matter at all. As the expression goes — you can’t take it with you.

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Key to Success”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Military funeral in Israel
IDF Names Missing Soldier As Sgt. Oron Shaul
Latest Blogs Stories
Socks

If you are lloking to buy socks, this store is NOT where to go! B”H

Jewish Mother (ca. 1906), carved ivory by Boris Schatz.
Courtesy Kestenbaum & Company.

Ruthie Blum reveals just how hard it is for a Jewish mother to be a patriot at the time of war. Maternal cognitive dissonance On Thursday night, after 10 days of aerial warfare between Hamas terrorists and Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a ground incursion into Gaza. It was a move that much of […]

IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz talking to the media.

JoeSettler takes on the IDF Spokesperson’s tweets that he believes are morally wrong and negatively affect the war we are fighting…

Goldstein

The 7 Decisions that changed author Andy Andrews’ life and how they can guide you towards success.

Not asking the world for the right to defend ourselves; such a right is obvious to anyone with a spine.

Where has all the billions of Euros and dollars that have been poured into Gaza over the years gone?

One wishes the PA would distance itself completely from Hamas now for the sake of peace and development in the region.

Israel will never be the underdog, so no defense will be legitimized.

In a war, people die; all Israelis should know that by now.

“We thought they wanted a state; it turns out that all they want is to destroy Israel”

It’s called Operation Protective Edge and is a double-edged sword.

The majority of the Israeli public is against a ceasefire with Hamas at this time.

Bibi knew back then what needed to be done. So why isn’t PM Netanyahu listening to his younger self?

If eligible, are their benefits to claiming Spanish citizenship?

Suggestion: Along with not eating and drinking let us “fast” today from other indulgences…

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/the-key-to-success/2012/09/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: