Harmony, attack! Tiferes Part IV (Belated)

I had such trouble this week continuing this theme. The theme demanded that the ideal of tiferes be fulfilled by going to war for it. And the way I understand the trait, it’s all about harmony and beauty and symmetry. How could that work? Nobody goes to war over balance! So I got stuck because I didn’t know how to continue this story.

I tried to work through the problem in my drasha on Shabbos morning, and I feel like I got nowhere. I thought that tiferes promotes itself, and requires no marketing department.

Then I looked at a Mishnah in Pirkei Avos. מצוה גוררת מצוה. And הוי רץ למצוא קלה. It dawned on me that this is it! How, you ask? The concept I was looking for was that a mitzvah, any good thing, needs to be moving forward, onward. And that the momentum needs to be maintained. A mitzvah is not only a mitzvah, it is the momentum, fuel for another mitzvah. A good thing that has no perpetuating power is defective. If harmony doesn’t beget more harmony, there’s a problem. I know some people who consider themselves to be exemplars of good character. But then their marriages failed. I remember thinking, “it’s nice to be nice, but if it’s not a nice that can exert itself in not-nice situations, its value is limited.״

(Please don’t take offense; I’m not talking about you or your divorce.)

נצח שבתפארת


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