Mixed Motives

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4 Responses

  1. Neil Harris says:

    Micha,
    So one malach (angel) has 1000 different aspects? Yet is limited to only one ratzion (desire/will/mission)?

    • micha says:

      One mission, yes. But I’m not sure about one desire.

      These are mal’akhim created through our actions. So we’re describing 999 sins and one mitzvah of one person.

      The title and opening of the post are based on the assumption that the thousand tzedadim of the mal’akh embody the thousand motives someone had for doing some mitzvah (or ch”v v.v.). And therefore the retzonos of these mal’akhim are as complex as the decision the person made to perform the original mitzvah. In our case, only one mal’akh spoke out in his defense, meaning even that one-in-a-thousand mitzvah was done for almost entirely the wrong reasons. Almost entirely. That 1/1000 drop of proper intention in one mitzvah was enough to save him despite the 999 aveiros.

      • NEIL says:

        Ah-ha. That puts a lot of pressure on me and my multiple motives for doing things. To quote RYS, “Make sure your l’sham shamayim is l’sham shamayim.”

        My brother in law old me once that there are over 40 different factors one considers prior to swinging a golf club, l’havdeil.

        • micha says:

          The reverse — the Y-mi takes the pressure off!

          Hashem will judge favorably a person with a 999 sins and one mitzvah on his account, even if that mitzvah was 999 parts bad ulterior motives!

          (I updated the post to try to preempt others from having to ask the questions Neil did.)

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