Chazal teach us that: 'He who prepares on Erev Shabbos, will eat on Shabbos.' This means that one who properly prepares on the sixth day of the week will be taken care of on the seventh day of the week. Similarly, HaRav Shlomo Zevin, ZT'L, notes that Elul is the sixth month of the year. One who properly prepares in the sixth month, will draw his lucrative benefits in the seventh month, in the Yemei Hadin.
Many of us, in one form or another, have experienced the embarrassed/disgraced feeling of a lack of preparation. One scene: Your Rav asks you for a ride, and there are cookie crumbs, crumpled papers, and other ripped, torn, and discarded items in your car--all of which you meant in any event to clean out last night before you went to sleep. The rav pretends that his car is much worse, and you kick as much as you can under your seat as you are driving.
A second scene: On a date, your counterpart asks you what your goals in life are, and you can only come up with a general, non-committal, obviously not very thought-through response. Situations of all kinds constantly come up in our lives which teach us the value and lesson of proper preparation. Being a step ahead could put you milestones ahead.
HaRav Matisyahu Salomon, Shlita, recently taught the following, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah:
One should reflect upon to the greatest extent possible, but at least several times during the day, on the tenth Ani Maamin, which states:
'I believe with complete faith that the Creator, Blessed is His Name, knows all the deeds of human beings and their thoughts, as it is said He fashions their hearts all together, He comprehends all of their deeds (Tehillim 33:15).'
HaRav Salomon fascinatingly notes that this very Pasuk from Tehillim cited in the Ani Maamin is also recorded in the Mishna in Rosh Hashanah when it describes how every individual, with his foils and fancies, trials and tribulations, passes before Hashem on Rosh Hashanah. Accordingly, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, we should work on feeling a complete and entire dependence upon Hashem. If one can work on better making this concept a part of his everyday existence, he will in a sense, experience the closeness to Hashem of Rosh Hashanah every day of the year.
HaRav Simcha Zissel, ZT'L, of Kelm asked his students--what is the smallest action you can do to open up Olam Haba to you? One student responded--answering Amen, another one said--making a brocha with feeling. HaRav Simcha Zissel taught them that you do not have to go that far--it would be enough to simply sit up straight in your chair, upon remembering that you are in Hashem's presence, and that Hashem's power and love for you is all-encompassing.
May we suggest that a good time(s) to revitalize this thought within us throughout the day is when reciting the most common brocha of 'Shehakol Neheye Bidvaro' which, if we think about its meaning, really teaches us this very lesson of the world and all that fills it belongs to Hashem.
One of the most popular Divrei Torah at this time of year is that Elul is an acronym for 'Ani Lidodi Vdodi Li--I am to Hashem, and Hashem is to me.'
Now is our turn to prove it!
reprinted with permission from Hakhel MIS