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Shavuos 5777 - Double Reward

 

ישלםה' פעלך ותהי משכרתך שלימה מעם ה' אשרבאת לחסות תחת כנפיו.

“MayHashem reward your deeds and may your reward be complete from Hashem, underwhose wings you came to be sheltered.” (MegillasRus).

  In this verse, Boaz is blessing Rus (Ruth) for her kindness towards her widowedmother-in-law Naomi.   The Midrash comments on these words: “For youcame to be sheltered.”   What is the meaning of this puzzlingcomment?  What is the Midrash adding to the verse that the verse itself isnot telling us?

 Another obvious question is why the verse repeats itself by saying again thather reward should be complete from Hashem.   The commentators answerthat the first part of the verse, “May Hashem reward your deeds,” refers toreward given in this world, and the second part of the verse, “May your rewardbe complete from Hashem,” is a blessing for the world to come.

  The Gemara tells us that “there is no reward for mitzvos inthis world.”   How then could Boaz bless Rus that she should berewarded in this world?

  Our sages tell us that the reward of the mitzvah depends on the difficultyinvolved in performing it. According to how much the person extended himselfand was willing to suffer or be inconvenienced for the mitzvah, that’s how hisreward will be determined.   If a person performed a mitzvah at greatpersonal sacrifice by inconveniencing his physical self, then he will receivesome reward in this world as well.   This is because in the World to comethe body cannot receive its well-deserved reward, so it has to be given in thisworld.

  Rus came from the royal family of Moav.   She was a princess who grewup amidst tremendous riches and pleasures.   She left all of thatbehind to accompany her lonely mother-in-law to Eretz Yisroel at great personalsacrifice.   She did all this out of the kindness of herheart.   Naomi urged her to go home to her father’s palace, but Rusinsisted on converting to Judaism.    Due to the physicalhardships that she took upon herself for the sake of Heaven, she deserved to berewarded in this world.

  This is the meaning of the verse: “May Hashem reward your deeds” – in thisworld.   How is this possible when mitzvos are notusually rewarded in this world?   The Midrash answers this unspokenquestion by reiterating: “For you came to be sheltered,” you threw away royaltyand riches despite the personal hardships involved, and therefore you deserveto be rewarded in this world too.

  We can say the same thing about other mitzvos as well. The holy Baal Shem Tov instituted the practice of gathering on Fridaynight.   It isn’t always easy to do this; often the Chassidim gatherat great personal discomfort.   It is important to remember thataccording to the discomfort one suffers for the sake of Heaven that is howgreat the reward will be – even in this world, because the person is sufferingphysically.

  The two words in the verse “אשר באת – for youcame,” spell out the words “שבת, שבת – sitting together on Shabbos.”  The remaining letter share the numerical value of the word “רב –great.”   It is indeed a great thing to gather together on Shabbos,and for that, the reward from Hashem will be complete, in both worlds.

 

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:
Shmuel ben Chaim
Feinberg A"H
5708-5769 9 Shvat

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:

 
 
 
 
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