One of the core principles of Judaism is selflessness, i.e. performing the commandments, studying Tora, serving God and doing good deeds not for a personal benefit but simply because God commanded, simply because another person or animal needs help. It is a paradox because selflessness leads to personal benefits as by-products. It is in stark contrast with other religions or at least the way they are often described by their own followers because there people aim to merge with God, to be near Him, to be in paradise, to reach liberation and in those religions selflessness is a tool for a selfish goal.
One important note: selflessness is not the same as ignoring one’s needs, thoughts and talents but how one uses them.
submitted by /u/danimeir