web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Blogs Stories
"Shiloh"

Shiloh, where the Mishkan stood for near 400 years, was the spiritual capital of the Jewish Nation.

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

European Union

Is the EU “Jewish challenged”?

Car in Light Rail Runover

The headlines refused to scream “ARAB TERROR ATTACK;” instead the phrase “Suspected Terror Attack.”

I’ve heard many times I write what others think, making them extremely happy; that’s why I continue.

Though secular, Hitman’s CV includes writing music for, recording, and popularizing religious songs.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Has the Jewish world adapted to the times? Hear the answer with Doug and his guest, Rabbi Berel Wein.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Kids bring in the light and let out the darkness through breathing exercises; it changes people.

If I make a million dollars in 2 weeks, how can I observe something like this and sit by quietly?”

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

How long will it take for Israel and the Jewish World to admit that we are in very serious danger?

How do changes in technology affect the human life and our interactions with each other?

Palestinians (and Jordanians) often use the term “provocation” regarding Israeli action in Jerusalem

The zealots who engineered the ban have been publicly disgraced.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman

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: