Put differently, true mesirus nefesh is not self-reduction; it is self-expansion, an opportunity to push oneself beyond the limits one assumes for oneself.

Is self-sacrifice a virtue?

Our instinctive answer to that question is, “But of course. It must be!” When we consider our overwhelming duties — the lion’s share of our time, money, and emotion that we pour into our Torah-driven lives and into building our faithful families — we are left with the question: What could the motivation be other than self-sacrifice?

Isn’t “mesirus nefesh” the defining character of Yiddishkeit? Isn’t this all the more so in the hubbub of our supercharged, hyper-stimulated life in the 21st century?... Read More: