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On motivating our children, our employees, ourselves

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Here's a thought for the new week: Do you want to start a project? Do you want to motivate someone else to do something? Explain why. Connect that person to something grand and transcendent.

On Shabbat we read the Torah portion of Emor that begins as follows: "And the Lord said to Moshe: Speak to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon." This is the introduction to providing the details of 63 mitzvot which the Kohanim must teach to the people.

Our commentators ask us to pay attention to the instructions that open the parasha: "Speak to the Kohanim, the sons of Aharon." Before anything else, tell the kohanim that they are the sons of Aharon, remind them of who they are, their special qualities and their importance. They are the successors of Aharon HaKohen. Now they will be receptive to receiving instructions as to their position and responsibilities.

Each one of us can say: I am the descendant of Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel, and Leah. Knowing this, we are then prepared to ask, "What is my mission?"

If we want to motivate people to participate in a project or activity -- whether our children, our employees or even ourselves -- we need first of all to connect them to a great and meaningful ideal. Once we have achieved this, we can then go into detail as to what needs to be done.

Shavua tov.

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