Sunday, January 21, 2007


It's been a long time. I've been enjoying my RIP status. I've been debating saying farewell, but I still have so many thoughts I'd love to share. I had an awesome time meeting two bloggers today for the first time (surprise), so it made me want to come back a little...

It's really easy to stay perfect when you are perfect. For example, if you're a straight A student, you have a high motivation to keep up that 4.0. Get one C, though, and a couple of B+s don't seem that unreasonable. Never had a cavity? One filling will give you less incentive not to leave a few more up to the care of your dentist. One speeding ticket, and that flawless driving record just becomes another spotty history. It's a lesson for motivation - when we set perfection as our standard, we have to be prepared with a backup plan for a recovery. Whether religiously or in any sphere of life where we struggle to perform to our utmost, we have to find the flow that keeps us at our high tide.

Part of what made me put this together was a Dvar Torah by Rav Shimon Schwab. A Tzaddik is a higher form of perfection than a Chassid (as evidenced by their order of appearance in the blessing of the Shemona Esrai). The Tzaddik is marked by his adherence to the letter of the law, while the Chassid is noted by his performace of deeds above and beyond the law. What bothered me is that this seems in reverse. Isn't the Chassid greater for going above the law? This issue is resolved by the above understanding. The goal is to be able to stay consistently at perfection, like the Tzaddik. While the Chassid's efforts are extraordinarily noteworthy, they stem from his cyclical struggles towards an as-yet-unattained perfection.

Who knows when I'll be back. I'm always around, but not always blogging. It's tough having competing obligations outside of creative writing.

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