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Shoftim(Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

Righteous Righteousness

Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue. (Deut. 16:20)

In the beginning of the parsha the Torah tells us, "Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue." The second "righteousness" seems superfluous. What is it coming to teaching us?

Sometimes a person wants to do God's will but he gets so caught up in fulfilling the commandments that he overlooks different areas. For example, he might want to rise very early in the morning to pray, but his alarm then awakens everyone else in his family.

Reb Bunim of Peshis'cha interprets the verse in this vein: pursue righteousness righteously. It is not enough to seek righteousness; it must be done through honest means. The Torah does not condone the pursuit of holiness through improper means. One has to make sure that he is not stepping on anyone else's toes when performing the commandments.

The Chozeh of Lublin wanted to arise very early one morning to take care of a great mitzvah. The night before he asked his wife to prepare supper extra early so that he would be able to wake up in time. That night, not only was supper not served early - it was served even later than usual. Consequently he did not wake up in time and did not perform that great mitzvah. He thought to himself, "I would be justified in getting angry at my wife. However, why should I get angry because my wife prevented me from serving God? It's God's will for me not to get angry!"

August 4, 2013

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) Anonymous, September 5, 2016 1:17 PM

Excellent article and very well said! Thanks for posting!

(3) Anonymous, August 17, 2015 11:21 AM

Great lesson! Thanks for posting!

(2) Anonymous, August 26, 2014 11:33 AM


This is great! Thank you so much for posting it!

(1) Michal, August 10, 2013 9:29 PM

The last sentences...

I loved most. There is much to learn from this Story,
especially for people like me who very easily get angry.
Thanks for printing this.

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