The Only Self to Sacrifice is Your Own

October 6, 2018 at 2:28 AM , , ,

“….And only Noach and those with him in the Ark survived….” (Bereishit 7:23)

״…וישאר אך נח ואשר אתו בתבה…״ – בראשית ז,כג

He was groaning and spitting blood because of the burden of tending to the cattle and the beasts, and some say that he delayed feeding the lion, and it struck him… —Rashi


In our holy task of providing the world with its spiritual sustenance, we must take a lesson from Noach’s devotion to tending to the needs of his passengers and dependents, the animal kingdom. Despite his saintliness and piety, Noach devoted himself tirelessly to the menial job of feeding the animals, unabated even by the detriment this caused to his physical health. We, too, must not be put off by any difficulty that we face in our job of bringing the Torah’s message of G-dliness and holiness to the entire world. We must approach this task with a readiness to sacrifice all our personal comforts for our mission, “groaning and spitting blood” if necessary.

At the same time, however, we must learn from Noach not to impose this “readiness for discomfort” on others. Noach was punished for delaying the lion’s food, to teach us that while we must readily sacrifice our own comforts for the success of this vital and lofty goal, the next person’s needs, or even conveniences, are not ours to sacrifice or even delay.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 5, pp. 53-56s


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