Inspired by Reb Kalonymos Kalman's ideal of a group of people coming together with the common goal of enhancing their service of God, increasing their sensitivity to all things spiritual, strengthening their love of acheinu kol beis Yisrael, and unlocking the enormous potential that we all have to cleave to the Almighty.

Interaction and discussion of practical ideas and concepts toward this end, culled from any Torah true source is welcome and appreciated.

Observations and personal experiences are also welcome; the point is to grow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Holy Extremism

כשם שהפשטות והאמת הם שמות נרדפות, כן הקיצוניות והגדלות הם שמות נרדפות .הקיצוניות היא ההשתלמות של הנושא. הדוגל בהבינוניות ומואס בקיצוניות חלקו עם הזיפנים או עם חדלי תבונה
The words above are a quote from the letters of the Chazon Ish. His claim is that to be great one must be an extremist. Anything less is assuring oneself of mediocrity at best and renders such a person ..... well I'd rather not translate.
What does he mean?
Example: The Olympics. To be an Olympic athlete one must train obsessively for years. No social life, no other serious interests. One thing. TRAINING. That means getting up at three am and running 10 miles, then lifting weights followed by a healthy breakfast with lots of nutrition and less taste. No doughnuts. Why? To excel!!
In ruchniyus a person must have the same intensive focus on excellence in order to become truly great. It means sleeping less than he might want to, not eating foods he enjoys, not going places he would like to visit and denying himself what his natural instincts dictate that he desire. This single minded focus on spiritual perfection produces a tzaddik. Always careful to say the right words, act the right way and even control his thoughts ensuring that only purity and holiness enter his personal domain.
Does extremism mean throwing rocks on passing cars on Shabbos or calling anyone you disagree with a heretic? OF COURSE NOT.
Spiritual Extremism means; extremely sensitive, extremely loving, extremely caring, extremely honest, extremely generous.
I bless myself and anyone else who so desires that we become holy extremists!:)

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