From today's Darke Abotenu/Moroccan Daily Halakha
e"H Ribi Kfir Dadon s"t
Translated by: Zachary Lubat s"t
The Merit of a Misva
After war with Sihon, the king of the Amorites, 'Og, the king of Bashan, goes out to fight with the Nation of Israel. Hashem strengthens Moshé Rabenu a"h and says to him "al tira oto ki beyadekha natati oto ve-et kol 'amo ve-et arso" - "Do not fear him, for into your hand have I given him, his entire people, and his land". Why then was Moshé Rabenu a"h more afraid of 'Og than Sihon?
The Gemara in Nida brings down that 'Og was the fugitive who came to Abraham to notify him that Lot was taken captive. His intention though was for Abraham to go out and be killed. Therefore, when 'Og came to fight with Israel, Moshé Rabenu a"h was afraid that the merit of Abraham would stand for 'Og. This is why HaShem tells Moshé Rabenu a"h not to fear.
It says in the sefer "Mai Marom" chapter 5, that even though 'Og had evil intentions, he received great merit for this act since the outcome benefited Abraham. 'Og received such great merit that it lasted for 465 years, to the point that Moshé Rabenu a"h was worried that this merit would allow 'Og to defeat the entire Nation of Israel. We learn from here the greatness and merit of performing a good deed, even if that good deed was not performed with good intentions.
There is a story told of a soldier who disappeared during the First Lebanon War. His parents turned to the Baba Salé zs"l. The sadiq looked at the parents gently and made a blessing on a drink, sipped it, and said "to life"! He then added "venaqé velo yenaqé" - "He will surely not clear." No one understood what the Ribi meant. The Ribi assured them that their son would return home soon. Sure enough, a week later the son returned home and they celebrated by the sadiq. The Ribi turned to the soldier and asked him, which Misva protected him? The soldier answered that he prayed, kept Shabat, and put on Tefilin. The Ribi again asked the question, which Misva the soldier accepted upon himself? The soldier answered that every Friday he would clean the synagogue and kept this a secret. This explains the Ribi's answer "venaqé velo yenaqé" - "He will surely not clear," that the one who accepted upon himself to clean the synagogue, will not come to any harm. This is the merit of a Misva which protects and saves.
HaShem should grant us the merit to continue to grow in our fulfillment of the Torah and Misvot!
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