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All beginnings are hard -- but following through is not any easier‏

איש מרכיב פאזל

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

All of us can identify with one or more of the following scenarios: next to our bed, a pile of books that we began but didn't finish; a computer screen full of open web page tabs scrunched together at the top of the screen; a gym membership that we started up with much enthusiasm but no longer use.
It is clear that this habit of neglecting to follow through is not good for us. In the Torah portion we read this past Shabbat, Moshe Rabbeinu warns the people: "Every (כל) mitzvah that I command you this day you shall be sure to do." Rashi explains that the word כל in this context does not mean "every" but rather "whole" or "entire." And then Rashi comments with this wise counsel: "If you have started a mitzvah, finish it."
If you make a commitment, don't neglect it after the initial enthusiasm wanes. In the course of every meaningful undertaking, a moment arrives when laborious effort will be required to sustain it. Complications are likely to arise and boredom may set in, or you might just tire from the task at hand.
When this happens, don't give in to the temptation to abandon what you started and jump into another project that may glitter from afar. Do not leave tabs open in your life. Focus on the project in front of you, devote yourself to it, and persevere until it is complete.
You are all welcome to think about one project or task in your lives to which you can apply Rashi's dictum: "If you have started a mitzvah, finish it." Shavua tov.


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