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Keep your ups up!
  Now, Steve said that mitzvahs, otherwise known as biblical laws are obligations and people had no choice but to follow them. That is a simplistic statement. For instance, there is a commandment to "love your brother as yourself". But how does one do that?

So the Rabbis came up with suggestions. One way is to give charity. But the Torah does not say how much. Some churches talk about a 10% tithe. But what happens if you give 9%? Are you going to go to hell? And what if you give 11%? Do you get a gold star?

Some people give a penny a day and feel that they are fulfilling the requirement. Some spend hours a day collecting money and living in poverty themselves to help others. Is the penny a day guy going to a worse place in the afterlife than the guy who lives in poverty and collects charity all day for others? What if the penny a day guy saved someone's life once. How does that add in?

The more you think about it the more you can see that there is no easy answer to how to follow the commandments. How much is enough? Even if the church says 10%, how do we know for sure that God agrees? Is there a point that is too much?

Judaism teaches that we never really know how much more we should give, and do, and feel. There is no magical point where you are "saved". You have to always wrestle with these issues and always try harder. The Rebbe used to say there are only two ways you can go in regards to mitzvahs, up or down. There is no static ground. You are either in the process of doing more or doing less. And he said the goal is to keep your ups more than your downs.

This is the reality of mitzvahs. It is a lifelong process. And the goal is to be the most moral person you can be. And I think that is a most laudable goal, no matter what you believe about God.
 
  Author: Von Cello
Eintrag from 16.01.2009
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