The Journey of the Soul
אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ
A-dnai sifatai tiftach, ufi yagid tehilatecha—
G‑d, Open my lips, that my mouth can declare Your praise
Z’rizut – Alacrity/Zeal/Enthusiasm
Our souls journey must be undertaken with z’rizut
Z’rirut is the energy that drives us to want to change, to make the world a better place which is our mission while in this world.
The Talmud teaches that a good deed is only credited upon its completion.Genesis Rabbah 85.3
The trait of zeal is an ornament to all the other traits and it perfects all of them. The Ways of the Tzaddikim Feldheim page 287
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Tehilim (Psalm) 34.15
I hastened and did not delay to observe Your Mitzvotecha (Commandments). Tehilim (Psalm) 119.60
The opportunity to provide for the soul is only in the present. This world is like Friday; the World to Come is like Sabbath. Only if one prepares food on Friday will he have provisions for the Sabbath. Once one’s time in this world is up, he can no longer do any mitzvoth. If not now, when. Pirkei Avos Treasury Artscroll page 43
Bereishit (Genesis) 18.2 And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the ground.
Abraham shows his z’rizut/zeal/enthusiasm for HaShem. He recognizes that these men are messengers from G-d so he runs to greet them and see to their needs.
This is called hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests.
Bereishit (Genesis) 20.2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
Acting with too much z’rizut, Abraham quickly thinks to save his own life at the risk of Sarah’s being raped.
Bereishit (Genesis) 20.10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, What did you see, that you have done this thing
Abraham’s own fear and mistrust of the unknown led him to act impetuously and without faith in the power and promise of God. This is the wrong kind of z’rirut.
Set your intention for the day when you arise to that you can practice z’rizut/alacrity/zeal in everything you do. Become aware of those special sacred moments in the day.
Find ways to speak out for righteousness, justice and Truth.
Pirkei Avot 2.4 cautions us about the lack of zeal…………..
… do not say When I free myself of my concerns, I will study, for perhaps you will never free yourself.
Mishlei (Proverbs)28.9 says…………..
He who turns his ear away from hearing the Torah-even his prayer is an abomination
Better to Me one day spent by you in study of Torah than a thousand sacrifices that your son Solomon will [some day] offer before Me, on the altar! Talmud Makkoth 10a
Michah (Micah)10.8 He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the L-rd Demands of you; but to do justice, to love loving-kindness, and to walk discreetly with your G-d.
Mussar teaches us that we are to both study and exercise our values. For z’rizut/zeal/enthusiasm, this means identifying where in life we need more or less of this trait. In our zeal, do we run over other people (either physically or metaphorically) or miss out on important experiences or relationships? With a lack of zeal do we fail to follow through with our commitments and so doing do we let others down?
Rashi commenting on Bereishit (Genesis) 37.13 says…….
Hineni implies z’rizut/zeal/enthusiasm is an intense readiness to perform the Commandments (Mitzvot). Hineni is our code word to get off the couch and maximize our limited time in this world. Joseph was ready to do the bidding of his father with enthusiasm even though he knew his brothers hated him. Bereishit (Genesis) The Sapirstein Edition Artscroll Edition Mesorah Heritage Foundation page 417
And it came to pass after these things, that G-d Tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here(Hineni) I am. Bereishit (Genesis) 22.1
With humility and z’rizut/zeal/enthusiasm we must always be ready to do HaShem’s Will.
Blessings and Peace