Motivation for Avodas Hashem

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  • #1447671

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    I went to a BY show recently and was kind of expecting what id seen by all the school shows I’d been to in the past (which were lubavitch)

    In the end, it was a very different experience, but one key difference intrigued me: the theme of schar kept coming up throughout the show.

    It intrigues me because schar and onesh aren’t really a motivating factor in my life or Avodas Hashem – because it was not a key theme in the chinuch I received.

    And thinking about it, I don’t think in today’s dark golus, it would motivate me enough to serve Hashem –

    And by that I don’t mean to be frum – as that is the life I was raised in and find most comfortable etc. But I don’t think it would be enough to motivate me to leave my comfort zone and do things in not comfortable with – go the extra mile, and also make Hashem the priority and enjoyment of my life.

    So I’m curious if this is a key factor and motivator for everyone here, and if so, how do you combat the instant gratification culture so prevalent today, in exchange for a far off intangible reward that doesn’t seem interesting (unless you are already “hooked” on Yiddishkeit, and if so, what hooked you?)

    #1448273

    5ish
    Participant

    Schar and Onesh is spoken about in many classical Jewish sources. Of course it is not the ultimate level in Avodas Hashem but it can certainly be a useful tool to motivate people who otherwise would not. Fear of punishment is certainly a lower level than fear of sinning to God but if that is all that is holding a person from sinning it is certainly worthwhile.

    #1448279

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    Hashem put you here for a reason, and that’s to serve him by bringing light and blessings to the world.

    When I’m feeling down, I remind myself (and it’s not always easy), that Hashem has a purpose for me being in and experiencing this moment… If I’m going somewhere where I may face challenges, I pray for Hashem to make my presence a blessing to the world -it keeps me going.

    #1448484

    Joseph
    Participant

    Throughout the Seforim HaKedoshim Klal Yisroel is admonished by Chachmei Yisroel regarding the various severe onshim we have for violating or not properly completing the various tasks that the RBSO demands of us. It is only in today’s messed up generation that the youth have demanded that the severe onshim not be mentioned too much.

    #1448497

    Sechel HaYashar
    Participant

    @chabadshlucha,
    @joseph,
    Serving Hashem from fear of punishment or wanting to receive Schar, is not the ultimate level of Avodas Hashem, and far from it. As the Rambam says in Hilchos Teshuva, Perek 10:1
    אל יאמר אדם הריני עושה מצות התורה ועוסק בחכמתה כדי שאקבל כל הברכות הכתובות בה או כדי שאזכה לחיי העולם הבא, ואפרוש מן העבירות שהזהירה תורה מהן כדי שאנצל מן הקללות הכתובות בתורה או כדי שלא אכרת מחיי העולם הבא. אין ראוי לעבוד את ה’ על הדרך הזה, שהעובד על דרך זה הוא עובד מיראה ואינה מעלת הנביאים ולא מעלת החכמים. ואין עובדים ה’ על דרך זה אלא עמי הארץ והנשים והקטנים שמחנכין אותן לעבוד מיראה עד שתרבה דעתן ויעבדו מאהבה:

    English Translation:
    A person should not say: “I will fulfill the mitzvot of the Torah and occupy myself in its wisdom in order to receive all the blessings which are contained within it or in order to merit the life of the world to come.”

    “[Similarly,] I will separate myself from all the sins which the Torah warned against so that I will be saved from all the curses contained in the Torah or so that [my soul] will not be cut off from the life of the world to come.”

    It is not fitting to serve God in this manner. A person whose service is motivated by these factors is considered one who serves out of fear. He is not on the level of the prophets or of the wise.

    The only ones who serve, God in this manner are common people, women, and minors. They are trained to serve God out of fear until their knowledge increases and they serve out of love.

    From here we see two important points.
    1. Children do need to be educated in serving Hashem out of from and for Schar. This is what’s taught in virtually every frum school. That’s the way children can relate to serving Hashem. However,

    2. We must recognize that while we do get punished for transgressing Hashems will, and we do get rewarded for listening to Hashem, this is not the reason why we serve him. We must serve Hashem out of love, not fear or gaining reward.

    #1448747

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Not a motivator for me at all.

    #1448904

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @litebrite

    “Hashem put you here for a reason, and that’s to serve him by bringing light and blessings to the world.”

    Yes that’s what motivates me too! That I’m working for Him, making this world a perfect hangout for Him where He can feel at home – through my Avodas Hashem.

    What I find especially motivating is when I remember how Hashem chose little me with all my faults and imperfections, to serve HIM – whose Greatness defies description, and that what I do actually MATTERS to Him, matters enough for Him to bother with the rewards and punishment system…

    “When I’m feeling down, I remind myself (and it’s not always easy), that Hashem has a purpose for me being in and experiencing this moment… If I’m going somewhere where I may face challenges, I pray for Hashem to make my presence a blessing to the world -it keeps me going.”

    +1

    #1448905

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @joseph so being honest here… You really think that if someone gives you a speech on how looking at non Jewish entertainment is gonna land you in gehennom big time… That’s gonna motivate you to drop it all LONG TERM even if you enjoy it?

    I find that hard to believe…

    #1448908

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @5ish
    You missed my point. Of course I heard of the concept growing up – I learned its one of the yud gimmel ikrim to believe Hashem does punish and reward… My point is that that wouldn’t likely motivate me when I hit an obstacle…

    @shopping613
    Yeah me too, cuz I was thinking if that was why I was told to serve Hashem, id basically be serving myself – earning schar and avoiding punishment for my own selfish preferences, and if that’s the case, I can think if more enjoyable ways to service myself in this upside down world of lies, where the bitter and bad looks pleasurable…

    #1448952

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS, 1) Who said it needs only be said as a motivator? It’s the truth and the truth needs to be said out loud and clear. 2) Our gedolei yisroel for thousands of years admonished us as such, so clearly they felt it is the correct and appropriate mussar to give us.

    #1448963

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I find that hard to believe…

    absolutely 100% true for some people. Telling some people how much Hashem loves them just fosters the feeling that Hashem knows they mean well and accepts them for who they are, not always motivating change. For some people, knowing that the fires of gihenom await them for specific actions is enough to jolt them out of participating or going deeper into it, and refraining from the behaviors brings more clarity, thereby encouraging the person to stay away long term and grow further.

    I’ve heard about it from speakers, seen it in others and experienced it myself. And if you read Dr. Twerski’s experiences with drug and alcohol addicts, he tells you that they have to hit rock bottom. They have to actually see the gihenom they have brought on themselves and their families because until you understand the severity of the consequence, you don’t have a strong enough opposing force to the pull of the addiction.

    Joseph yelling at people is worthless, but legitamte Torah sources and Rabbanim teaching the firey consequences to certain behaviors and lifestyles is life changing. If not for you, then that’s you. Many people out there are not you.

    #1449112

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @joseph

    “CS, 1) Who said it needs only be said as a motivator? It’s the truth and the truth needs to be said out loud and clear”

    Sure I’m all for that. I was just questioning its use as do this so you can get schar…

    “2) Our gedolei yisroel for thousands of years admonished us as such, so clearly they felt it is the correct and appropriate mussar to give us.”

    Yes and back then the effect was different than today. I believe i referenced this on your tochacha thread in the story of the day gehennom burnt down.

    #1449157

    TheFakeMaven
    Participant

    There are two points to be made:
    1) The concept of schar veoineash in the coming world by definition cannot be the ultimate motivator. It is basic human psychology that a long term pleasure (or the opposite) cannot truly overcome immediate gratification. Of course it can be a motivator, but not an ultimate one.

    2) the real motivator has to be one that gives immediate gratification, and that is the connection that one has now and every second with HKBH, and the more one cultivates it, the more pleasure one experiences through doing the mitzvohs etc.

    It wold be of great use for the chinuch system to teach the Chovos Hatilmudim, and Hachsheres Ha’vreichim, which clearly exlplains the ins and out of this concept.

    #1449234

    jmj613
    Participant

    I think rav shais taub in last weeks Ami explains why we need both ahavas hashem but also yiras hashem

    #1449584

    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    I do things for selfish reasons.
    I didn’t say what you meant.
    I meant that fear and punishment don’t motivate me.

    #1449526

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @fake maven thanks for your comment, really enjoyed

    #1449525

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @syag sure I agree with you 100%. My point was that that show in all the songs kept saying how the characters should push themselves beyond their limits to get schar in the next world. That’s what I found a bit strange and was wondering if it’s just a different upbringing. Gathering the responses from this thread, its not just me that wouldn’t be motivated that way to make Yiddishkeit my life, and not one of the things I do when it works for me.

    Of course we need to have yiras and ahavas Hashem. Just I find Yirah and Ahava allot more motivating when the focus is my personal relationship with Hashem right now, (Yirah is the fear of losing that relationship.) not in Olam habaah. Ahavas Hashem that motivates me, is the Love I have for Hashem Who is my life, provides me with everything, and the fact that I get to be chosen and work for such a Boss. That’s what keeps me find all day – I love being part of His plan here in THIS world!

    #1449657

    Sechel HaYashar
    Participant

    @joseph,
    I guess that Rambam Hilchos Teshuva I posted got ignored.

    #1450240

    Joseph
    Participant

    SHY: Where do you see a stira?

    #1450500

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @sechelhayashar

    Sorry I realized I never acknowledged your post. Thanks allot, it was good to see that source!

    #1450511

    mdd1
    Participant

    Chabadshlucha, I am such a person. And on the contrary the many of the other motivations would move me. I agree with Joseph.
    Sechel HaYahar, that Rambam is meant for ba’alei madreigah, and we are speaking of simple folk here.

    #1450516

    mdd1
    Participant

    I meant many of the other motivations would not move me.

    #1450527

    Sechel HaYashar
    Participant

    @mdd1,
    “Sechel HaYahar, that Rambam is meant for ba’alei madreigah, and we are speaking of simple folk here.”

    Speak for yourself, but I think most people would take issue with being called an Am Haaretz, which is who the Rambam says such a view is for. Also, see Pirkei Avos 1:3:

    אל תהיו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב על מנת לקבל פרס, אלא הוו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב שלא על מנת לקבל פרס, ויהי מורא שמים עליכם.

    English Translation:
    “Do not be as slaves, who serve their master for the sake of reward. Rather, be as slaves who serve their master not for the sake of reward. And the fear of Heaven should be upon you.”

    It’s evident from the above Maamar Chazal as well as the Rambam quoted above, that the Chachamim didn’t exactly encourage doing Mitzvos in order to receive Schar, or refrain from committing Aveiros because of fear of Gehinnom, which is why we use the term “Yiras Shomayim” not “Yiras Gehinnom”, because we’re not selfish people driven by rewards, rather, we want to do what Hashem wants, to fulfill his will, because that’s why he created us. We want to give Hashem Nachas Ruach, not earn mileage points on the Heavenly Express ™.

    #1450534

    Joseph
    Participant

    SHY: How do you explain the huge amount of Seforim HaKedoshim throughout the centuries in galus, from the Rishonim and Achronim, warning us of the dire punishments for various aveiras?

    #1450562

    mdd1
    Participant

    Seychal HaYashar, simple folk today are not on the spiritual level of Rambam’s am’aratzim. Yeridas ha’doros…

    #1450561

    Sechel HaYashar
    Participant

    @joseph,
    Sure the punishments are out there, but is that why you shouldn’t do the aveiros? These “fire and brimstone” warnings, are usually reserved for people who are doing Aveiros, knowingly, because they couldn’t care about their relationship with the Aibershter, and aren’t really interested in what he wants.

    Tell me Joseph, if Gehinnom were to close down (due to “lack of interest”) would you still be a frum Yid? What if Schar also stopped? Why would you continue being frum?
    A practical example:
    Until 20 years we aren’t punished for our Aveiros, so why shouldn’t one do Aveiros until he or she turns 20?

    #1450568

    Sechel HaYashar
    Participant

    @mdd1,
    I knew that was coming. Obviously you aren’t too well versed in Rambam to know what and who he calls an Am Haaretz. When I have some time I’ll quote a few.

    #1450572

    mdd1
    Participant

    Seychal HaYashar, the 20 old statement is not to be taken literally.
    I’ll tell I would not have become frum and progressed further if not for yiras ha’onesh.

    #1450592

    mdd1
    Participant

    SHY, I didn’t mean his level of observance, but rather the level of his neshomah.

    #1450600

    TheFakeMaven
    Participant

    (Awaiting moderation)

    #1450612

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    (Awaiting moderation)

    #1450613

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    (Awaiting moderation)

    #1450614

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    (Awaiting moderation)

    #1450615

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    (Awaiting moderation)

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