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A Second Spin on Being a “Servant of G-d”

  • Dedication: Refuah Sheleima for Shlomo Yisroel Ben Sarah

    Being a true Eved Hashem (servant of G-d) means fulfilling the wishes of the King, namely reviewing our Torah learning 101 times! We do this act not to gain knowledge for our own interest’s sake, but simply to connect to Hashem. Performing this action for the right reason is what earns a Jew the title of Eved Hashem, since it is human nature to crave that which is new, exciting, and interesting. Reviewing the same piece of learning for the 101st time, is neither new, exciting, nor interesting. It is purely an act of love, and this is precious to the King; it is that very act that crowns one with the title of “Eved Hashem” (Servant of G-d)
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    Recently, we learned that the difference between a regular person versus one who earns the title of
    “Servant of G-d” is the difference of reviewing his learning 101 times versus 100 times, which was standard at one time. This was a teaching from the Baal HaTanya.
    Rav Aharon Kotler puts an additional spin on this; on why crossing the line from 100 times to 101 times puts a person into that category of “Eved Hashem” –“Servant of G-d.”
    It’s human nature to want to experience something new. People get bored of the same old thing. Therefore, Rav Aharon Kotler says that if a person goes about his Torah study to learn a lot, it could be boring to review it so many times. It’s natural and normal for a person to feel that he’s not gaining anything in reviewing it the 101st time. But that’s only if he is learning for that reason.
    If on the other hand, the person learns for the right reason, which is just to connect with Hashem, then he earns the title Eved Hashem. Hashem is interested in us studying these laws. It’s because He is interested, that we enhance our relationship with Him through learning His Torah and reviewing it that many times- even 101 times. It’s not about gaining knowledge.
    Ultimately that’s the purpose; to enhance our connection to Hashem. Reviewing our learning will never be boring. It will always be exciting, because it will not have been about acquiring more knowledge, but rather deepening the bond through repetitious actions that are meaningful to the Creator.
    May Hashem bless us to be zocheh to be considered servants of G-d and may we get excited to review our learning as much as possible, even when we feel we are not gaining new knowledge. May we merit to see the coming of the Moshiach speedily in our days, Amen.