Is One Supposed to Enjoy Doing Mitzvos?

Is one supposed to enjoy doing Mitzvos?

To some, enjoying to study Torah and doing Mitzvos is not the optimal level. They believe the optimal level in serving Hashem is in a way of submission and duty, and when one enjoys doing it, the self gets mixed in.

Chassidus on the other hand was strongly opposed to this idea. Instead they teach that the main reason why Hashem created the world is that we should enjoy and reap pleasure from doing Mitzvos and studying Torah.

The Meor Einayim in Parshas Vayeishev explains that since Hashem is complete and isn’t lacking anything, He didn’t create the world for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the creatures. The greatest goodness that Hashem bestowed upon us, the Meor Einayim continues, is the spiritual pleasure we have in doing Mitzvos. Not only is it important to enjoy doing Mitzvos, but we are supposed to work on reaping pleasure from them. When we do so, and we are מתענגים על ה’, we bring pleasure to Hashem.

With this principle he further explains the passage in Pirkei Avos: “אל תהיו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב על מנת לקבל פרס, אלא היו כעבדים המשמשין את הרב שלא על מנת לקבל פרס” – Do not be like servants who serve their master for the sake of reward. Rather, be like servants who serve their master not for the sake of reward. The Meor Einayim explains it as follows: Do not be as servants who serve their master for the sake of reward {in the world to come}. Rather, serve your Master and have pleasure and enjoyment right away when serving Him.

Chassidus teaches that the deepest pleasure that we can actually feel in this world is from connecting to Hashem and doing His Mitzvos.

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This article is part of a series of Chassidic teachings on the duties of the heart.