Monday, August 25, 2008

All Of These Thoughts From A Cool Morning Breeze

Leaving my home on the Tuesday morning following Shabbos Nachamu, I first noticed the colder air signaling the approach of the month of Elul and Rosh Hashana.

As soon as my mind turned to thoughts of teshuva, my yetzer hara instantly weighed in, "Teshuva?? You??? Of all people, I really don't think you need to concern yourself with such matters. You do more the most people anyways. What have you done that was really so bad that you need repent for? Everyday you are concerned with tachlis, tachlis, tachlis. Enough already!"

My yetzer hara didn't dissuade me though. I understood that there was a reason that I felt this Elul wind while it was still the month of Av. I then recalled the words of my friend Chabakuk Elisha,

" can happen that a spouse and children are forced to live in the unfortunate position of being at the mercy – so to speak – of someone that does not put their concerns first."

Indeed there are often times that I will forgo the opportunity to help my wife clean the house, put away laundry, do dishes, or go food shopping because I would rather engage in a more "lofty" pursuit such as learning Torah. I rationalize to myself that it is not my tachlis to squander my precious free time on menial household tasks. However, I realize that these selfish rationalizations are wrong, and that it IS my tachlis to give and to help others; especially my own family.

Although I certainly hate to admit it, sometimes putting away laundry or helping my wife with some home organizational project is on a higher level than the times when I open a sefer and learn.


At August 25, 2008 at 5:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger Leora said...

Thank you for helping your wife.

I appreciate that my husband spends some time helping (chores, children--lots with children) and some time with a sefer. Both are helpful to me.

At August 25, 2008 at 6:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

i have a kavanah i use when cleaning the house in order that i still feel like i'm doing something important --- while simultaneously making me aware of just how important it actually is:

I think of the fact that the home is a microcosm of the mishkan(/beit hamikdash) which is a microcosm of a person which is a microcosm of the entire world, and so by cleaning out our home, i'm cleaning out the entire world. Doing deep tikkunim on levels that are beyond my own mortal comprehension.

for me this really helps

At August 25, 2008 at 6:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Leora and Yitz: It is great to hear from you again and I am happy to see that people have returned to reading my postings.

At August 26, 2008 at 3:06:00 AM EDT, Blogger chanie said...

Halevai that all men should realize this.

At August 26, 2008 at 3:07:00 AM EDT, Blogger chanie said...

Oh- and by the way...
Nice to have you back. I missed reading your blog.

At August 26, 2008 at 4:43:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Chanie :)


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