Monday, September 08, 2008

Us, God and Elul

Been a long time, eh?

A thought for Elul, adapted from Rabbi Paltiel* Jr. (InsideChassidus):

He was addressing yeshiva high school girls, who wouldn’t have a lot of big aveiros to worry about yet, in terms of teshuvah during Elul and the High Holidays. So what should they work on? Two things:

1) Think about God. You went to shul this morning, said a bunch of words on a bunch of pages, same words you said yesterday, same words you’ll say tomorrow, a little different on Shabbos, but when was the last time you thought about the Eibishter while doing so? Try to think about the Eibeshter while you’re praying – you’re praying To Him, after all. And you’ll see how it means more. And don’t worry if you can’t finish everything. I counted, Slichos is about 17 pages, and we say it in 35-40 minutes. If you only say 5 pages in that time, great. Think about what you’re saying and to Whom it is directed.

2) Ask God. He wants you to ask for things. Sure, he can sometimes say no, but if you don’t ask, he certainly won’t answer. And you can look for the answer in your life, but you have to ask. This echoes what R’ Yaakov Feldman has said at numerous AishDas events – get in the habit of talking to God, talk to Him a little every day, so that when you need something, you’re asking a friend, Someone with whom you’re already comfortable.

* Paltiel Jr. - There are two Rabbis Paltiel who have MP3 lectures on Chabad chassidus online, this one, and an older one, R' Abba Paltiel at YeshivaLive. So I think of this one as R' Paltiel Jr., not knowing if they actually are father & son, or cousins, or what.

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