Path of the Just - Chapter 7 - Diligence - Vital Transformation

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Path of the Just – Chapter 7 – Diligence

August 24, 2021

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In Chapter 7 of “The Path of the Just,” we delve into the crucial elements of diligence in spiritual practice, focusing on the vital moments before, during, and after engaging in a mitzvah (commandment). This chapter underscores the necessity of seizing the moment to perform mitzvot without delay, highlighting the dangers of procrastination which can lead to missed opportunities for spiritual fulfillment and growth.

Before a mitzvah presents itself, the text advises immediate action to prevent obstacles from hindering the performance of the mitzvah. It emphasizes the concept of not letting matzot leaven, metaphorically teaching us not to delay our spiritual duties, akin to how matzah must be prepared quickly to prevent it from becoming chametz (leavened), which is forbidden on Passover. This lesson is illustrated through various scriptural examples, including the quick actions of Lot’s daughters and the swift anointing of Solomon, demonstrating the importance of haste in fulfilling God’s commandments.

After initiating a mitzvah, the focus shifts to completing it with the same zeal and dedication, avoiding the temptation to rush through just to relieve oneself of responsibility. The sages commend those who not only start but also complete a mitzvah, emphasizing that true honor and divine reward await those who see their spiritual commitments through to the end with diligence and purpose.

The chapter also explores the reciprocal relationship between external diligence and internal enthusiasm. It suggests that acting with zeal can ignite a deeper, intrinsic excitement for fulfilling mitzvot, thereby enhancing one’s spiritual practice. Conversely, laziness and procrastination not only dampen one’s external actions but also extinguish the inner flame of passion for divine service.

This exploration of diligence in “The Path of the Just” offers profound insights into the mechanics of spiritual practice, emphasizing the need for immediate and enthusiastic engagement with mitzvot. It serves as a reminder of the continuous effort required to maintain momentum in one’s spiritual journey, encouraging readers to embrace both the challenges and rewards of living a life devoted to fulfilling God’s commandments. Through understanding and applying the principles of diligence detailed in this chapter, individuals can deepen their connection to Jewish spirituality, enhance their personal growth, and draw closer to the Divine.

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