When a Person Doesn’t Feel

The Ba’al Hatanya in the Sefer Hatanya teaches a very important principle that is even more important in our generation.

In Chapter 44 in the Sefer Hatanya he explains the Gemara, מחשבה טובה הקב”ה מצרפה למעשה – Hashem considers the thought to do good as if the good deed was done. The word מצרפה, which means attached or added, is difficult to understand, it should’ve said מחשבה – considers.

He answers that in every Mitzvah there are the thoughts, emotions, and action. The above-mentioned Gemara refers to a case in which a person prepares for a Mitzvah and has their thoughts and intentions on the Mitzvah, and they also do the Mitvah in action, but their emotions are not with them. For some reason they can’t inspire their emotions. In such a case the Gemara says Hashem is מצרף – attaches and adds on the emotions to the thoughts and actions.

Sometimes we prepare for a Mitzvah with much devotion and excitement, but when it comes to doing the Mitzvah we can’t focus or awaken emotions. In our generation, people are looking for emotional experiences and really want to feel Torah and Mitzvos, but emotions are many times difficult to direct.

We need to realize that the power of a Mitzvah or a Yom Tov is beyond just emotions. The action itself even without emotions has an enormous impact. So too the thoughts itself even without emotions have an enormous impact. It’s not about immediate results and it’s not about our perception or expectation of what feelings we’ll have.

Another approach when a person doesn’t feel:

The Ba’al Shem Tov explains the Pasuk ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני ביום ההוא – And I will hide My face on that day. This is said referring to when Chas Vesholom there is a הסתר פנים from Hashem and Hashem’s presence is hidden.

The Ba’al Shem Tov explains why it says הסתר אסתיר in a double fashion – ‘and conceal I will conceal’. He answers that when Hashem is concealed from a person, but the person knows that Hashem concealed Himself, it is not a real concealment. But when a person thinks that the concealment is not from Hashem, but from circumstance or from the person’s own fault, that level of concealment is full concealment.

When a person wants to experience Kedusha and closeness to Hashem, but doesn’t, he has to know that Hashem is the one who conceals Himself for the moment. It’s a Nisayon, a test, a special Avoda that Hashem wants from the person, to serve Hashem even from within the concealment. When a person knows this and continues doing the Mitzvah with devotion and a Bren, it won’t be long till the Oros will be once again revealed to them.

We need to come and stand before Hashem and serve Him with dedication. Then Hashem will shine His Ohr and be מצרף us to all the Kedushos.