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Half Empty or Half Full

My Rabbi, R. Tvi Mandel, often reminds us that each mitzvah has a reward that is a tremendous unfathomable treasure worth more than billions of dollars, more than the most beautiful jewels in the world, more than the greatest honor, higher than the highest power. How can a person see that?

Rabbi Akiva says, (Ethics of the Fathers/Pirkei Avos 3:18) - "Chaviv adam shenivra btzelem. Chiba yesera nodaat lo. - Shene'emar ki btzelem Elokim asa et ha'adam." - Treasured is a man for he is created in G-d's image; treasured even more that he knows it, as it is written, 'For in the image of G-d I created man'.

The cup seems half empty sometimes when a person loses a lot of money. But his tzelem Elokim, his own being made in the image of G-d, reminds him immediately of how small even the greatest treasure is compared to even one mitzva.

When something really annoying or expensive happens unexpectedly, there is comfort. It could have been much worse. G-d did not take away a person's soul. Pain is a powerful feeling, but if the person says that they will respond to the pain by doing even one more mitzva, it turns out that G-d is giving him/her a gift, the chance to use the pain caused by the problem in combination with his/her tzelem Elokim to be inspired to do more mitzvot, and become immeasurably richer in the Olam Haemes, the true world.

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