Wednesday, September 12, 2007

5768


If I were brutally honest, could I truthfully say that my preparations during the month of Elul were considerably superior to my normal avoda throughout the rest of the year? Although there may be a few additional practices here and there, can I really say they are all substance and not just form; having the appearance of piety?

The vast majority of my physical preparations for Rosh Hashana have already been accomplished and yet I feel as if I have not even begun my spiritual preparations.

Perhaps this impossible, though. For to be properly prepared for Rosh Hashana one must be prepared to leave this world and enter the next.

12 Comments:

At September 12, 2007 at 5:22:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz.. said...

Hmm i think that if you were doing avodah all your long, then in elul just continuing with your avodah (with the same push to increase one's avodah that accompanies us all year) is perfect.

it's probably comparable to running a long-distance race. If you paced yourself properly (keeping a tough pace) you don't need to burst into an all-out run for the last half-mile.. (although i'm not a runner, so i could be wrong :) )

although rav steinsaltz once said the way to connect to Ein Sof, is to give it your all, and then when you don't have anymore to give..give a little more.

 
At September 12, 2007 at 6:42:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I found this line from Reb Noson in Likutey Tefilos that describes the feeling I was trying to convey:

"My heart contains such a mixture of spiritual refuse and self-serving motives that even as I confess and say, "I have sinned before You", at that very moment, foreign thoughts and self-serving motives enter my heart, until I find that I cannot speak one word that is truly sincere."

 
At September 12, 2007 at 9:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger Natan said...

I really appreciate the honesty that you've conveyed here, we all can improve our avodah. I feel that the comment from R' Nosson expresses a lot of what we feel.

Thanks for all the time and effort that you've put into the blog, it's one of my favorites.

 
At September 12, 2007 at 9:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you for your kind words, Natan.

 
At September 12, 2007 at 11:55:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

I'm sure it wasn't easy to post this one. IMHO, you're probably better of spiritually than you think (the Yetzer Hara loves to confuse us about where we are holding).

In terms of your phsyical preparations, you might get a kick out of this...
The Sfas Emes makes a pretty big deal about the fact that simchas yom tov involves our physical being. That's why, for example, we are allowed to cook (from a pre-existing flame) on yom tov, so that our physical being should simchadik as well.

Physical preparations like cooking, mikvah (well that's obviously spiritual, too), ect. all help us spiritually.

One thing I was thinking about during davening this morning was that although the three day yom tov means more shopping, cooking, and menu planning, it also means that after davening for two days about our King, we can go right into Shabbos and enjoy its' gift.
It's like seeking an audience with a king, being with the king for two days, and then being invited to stay close to him for another day.

 
At September 12, 2007 at 12:05:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks for sharing that thought, Neil.

 
At September 14, 2007 at 4:36:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Came close to Kosher said...

Kinda funny how I found your blog. Been trying to find this video of headbanging rabbi's that I heard about through Google, then found your blog with the keywords "Jewish Heavy Metal." Have you seen this video?

With the crap I have to prepare in this life, I'll be happy once I croak.

Cool blog you have here, Simple.

 
At September 23, 2008 at 1:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger Long Beach Chasid said...

Even if you are unsure about yourself, know that your inspire others to strive to be closer to Hashem and his Torah and with that merit Hashem should look kindly upon you. You inspired me to write about this past year, and Elul and Rosh Hashanah, which I cant believe is six days away. Yasher Koach.

 
At September 24, 2008 at 11:17:00 AM EDT, Blogger chanie said...

Kol hakavod lecha for posting this.

I ditto what Long Beach Chassid said- know that you inspire others with this blog.

However, I don't think that you're truly being honest with yourself...why should you feel like you have accomplished nothing with Elul? At any rate, you still have a chance- run and greet the King...
And don't worry about the sins, just be who you truly are. The greatest sin is an unfulfilled potential.

 
At September 24, 2008 at 11:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you both Long Beach Chasid and Chanie for the new comments on an old post!

 
At September 24, 2008 at 11:57:00 AM EDT, Blogger Long Beach Chasid said...

Didnt even realize. I thought it was reflection of 5768 not your Elul preparations this 5768. Now the question is, did you prepare more this year and what did you change/add?

 
At September 24, 2008 at 11:59:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Indeed it was. See the side bar under "Sudilkover Rebbe's Advice" for the entry for Elul for my posting about this year.

 

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