Last night the Shikkerdovid learned with Rabbi Prager the beginning of the famous perek, “Arbei Pesachim’ The Mishna states that one should refrain from eating from the 9th hour of the day prior to the seder. One of the reasons given is that the eating of the matza should be with an appetite and is a “hedur” therefore, the matza eating will be “hedur”. The other opinion is that one should not overeat (Achilat Gasa) prior to the Seder and not be able to eat the matza properly. Now many people find this part of the Talmud easier than other parts.The ShikkerDovid does not. As the shiur progressed, the complexity of this problem unraveled.
While the Shikkerdovid does not want to oversimplify things, maybe there is a easy lesson to learn in these two opinions. It raises the question: What is our motivation. Do we refrain from things to “glorify” or “make beautiful” or do we refrain from things as a fence against bad behavior. I think we all want to believe that our belief and Jewish is rooted in “hedur”, but sometimes it most be rooted fences (Achila Gasa). The challenge is know which applies in any moment.
Understanding one’s own motivation is sometimes a very difficult subject. I agree with the ShikkerDovid that on an ideal plane we would want to glorify the Mitzvah. However we have to be honest in assessing our motivation.