Running to do mitzvot

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, July 20, 2014

If you have a chance to do a mitzvah, do it right now! Not after a cup of tea and the football's finished. Who knows, maybe you will get distracted, or something else will come up or the opportunity to do something good will slip away and the moment be lost. We can always find excuses and persuasive reasons to procrastinate and do it later. This is an insistent refrain in Jewish sources. "The zealous move forward fast to do mitzvot", teaches the Talmud (Pesachim 4a).

There is an ethic here that challenges the unquestioning trust in the flow of one's own inner life which characterises much contemporary spiritual thought. There is certainly a place for such trust. But there is also a place for recognising that one's own inner life may be marred by laziness and addiction to comfort. Sometimes you have to drop everything and do the right thing, now.

Last updated: 4:45pm, July 20 2014