Guest Posting By Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin - Preparing For Rosh Hashana
Over the years as the yomim tovim have approached, I have been privileged to speak with the Koidenover Rebbe and receive guidance in preparing for yomtov. He has recommended many mamarim which have really helped transform the way I approach yomtov. This is especially true with Rosh Hashana. The pieces in the Yosher Divrei Emes have been most enlightening and while I will not attempt to explain them all, I will focus on one nekudah.
We often wonder what to focus on as yomtov approaches. It can be confusing or overwhelming at times. What do we ask for on Rosh Hashana? It is the day when the coming year will be determined. Maybe we should daven and focus on all of the various things we want or do not have. Yet there is really only one thing to ask for on Rosh Hashana and that is for deveikus, to connect with Hashem. We mistakenly think that this is separate from our physical needs, health, wealth, children, etc... In fact, all of those things are included in deveikus. When we asked to be inscribed in the Sefer HaChaim, we are asking for connection, v'atem hadveikim b'Hashem Elokeichem, chaim culchem hayom. Once we have that connection, everything else falls into place. All of our specific needs are met. The din is on our true desire for deveikus.
I learn this piece every year before Rosh Hashana and it has taken on new meaning in my personal and professional life. The one thing to ask for in any relationship is connection. In a marriage we are often focusing on the "problems", hoping that if we cure the symptoms, the relationship will improve, yet as soon as we solve one problem, another arises. When we are in true connection, though, all of the problems melt away. We often get stuck in the details and are not able to see the big picture. Keeping this teaching in mind gives us insight into what is truly important.
I have written an article in my new book which explains the practical application of this Yosher Divrei Emes and marriage. It can be found on my website here.