The Year That Passed, The Year That Is To Be
"What is the mitzva I should concentrate on during 5770?", I asked the Sudilkover Rebbe.
The Rebbe paused and thought for sometime before responding, "Do you give ma'aser properly?"
"...well, I certainly give tzedaka throughout the course of the year...", I admitted.
With a look of disapproval, the Rebbe then said, "Every Jew gives tzedaka!!! What I am asking is whether you have a separate account devoted to for ma'aser."
To this, I admitted the truth: I did not. The Rebbe suggested that I review the halachos of ma'aser and set up a separate account for this purpose. He reminded me that the Torah says that a person will benefit financially from giving ma'aser and suggested that perhaps I would be able to work less as well.
Returning from this meeting with the Rebbe in Cheshvan 5770, I reviewed the halachos of ma'aser, calculated what my annual ma'aser amount would be, and opened a ma'aser account that included a function to automatically transfer a set amount from each paycheck into this account.
The results from my observance of the mitzva of ma'aser proved to be amazing. Within the course of the year, I received a substantial raise in salary and permission to work from home one day a week. This second benefit has aided me greatly in my avodas Hashem. Not only do I have more time during the week to learn, but I also have more time to devote to my book project. Looking back now, I realize that my observance of this mitzva helped create the nonexistent spare time that I was seeking last year.
Three days before Rosh Hashana this year, I was fortunate to meet with the Sudilkover Rebbe once again in Boro Park. I asked him what area in my avodas Hashem I needed to concentrate on during 5751 and also asked him some remaining questions that I had regarding my book project. I have since written up his responses pertaining to my book project and I hope to have a completed manuscript within the next month or two. The next stage will be to send the manuscript out to a number of people for their review and editorial comments before I approach a publisher.
G-d willing, I hope to be able to return to posting here on a more frequent basis and perhaps one day even announce the release of my book on this site.