Looking for some sources as to what induces a person to become more devoted in his service of God.

I have read about certain big tzadikim who devoted themselves with extreme mesirut nefesh (efforts) and was wondering from where does this desire come from.

For example, the Rambam in Mishne Torah yesodei tora ch.2 says this desire comes from examining the wisdom in nature.

What is the path [to attain] love and fear of Him? When a person contemplates His wondrous and great deeds and creations and appreciates His infinite wisdom that surpasses all comparison, he will immediately love, praise, and glorify [Him], yearning with tremendous desire to know [God's] great name, as David stated: "My soul thirsts for the Lord, for the living God"

are there other sources that discuss what induces a person to this strong devotion? and why should that approach be the most powerful one.

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    Are you looking for anecdotes? Biographical sketches? Personal testimonies? Analyses of Mussar principles? Analyses of psychological principles? Please make this more specific and clear. – Isaac Moses Feb 25 '14 at 22:18
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    Why has modern science dulled this more than ancient science? – Charles Koppelman Feb 26 '14 at 6:20
  • @CharlesKoppelman well modern science posits it all just happened by chance through random evolution - not by God, and they try to bring evidences to support their claim. – ray Feb 26 '14 at 6:51
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    @ray Check out Epicuriu'ss or Lucretius's writing some time. Then read Einstein's philosophy on G-d. – Charles Koppelman Feb 26 '14 at 7:16
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    @ray That is like saying "science cannot explain what is in my hand" (there is nothing in my hand). There is no "before the big bag". – mevaqesh Aug 7 '16 at 17:48

This comes from an in depth study of the Chovos Halevavos, especially the first 3 gates. There's a translation online.

Here is a quote from the Shaar Bechina (Gate of Examination)

The wise and intelligent man will choose from the world for study its fine and spiritual elements; use them as a ladder by which to obtain proofs of the existence of the Creator of all, to Whose service he will then cling to according to his heartfelt recognition of the greatness and exaltedness of the Creator, and his realization of the Almighty's gracious benevolence to all of His creations and that G-d has graciously bestowed abundant benefits to him, and has elevated him (above the animals, etc.) while he had done nothing nor possessed any moral quality that would entitle him to deserve any divine reward.

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Where does desire for greater devotion come from? One answer is that it can result from direct attempts to cultivate that desire and yearning. See these two links, with various relevant quotes from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov:



How to stimulate this desire or yearning, beyond these suggestions? Through praying aloud in our own words, asking Hashem to give us a passionate desire to serve Him with all our might. See the following links:




You'll also find a lot of answers to this question in Mesilas Yesharim by Ramchal, which can be read for free online here.


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