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FRUMToronto Articles Thoughts for the Week

Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.

We have now entered the lofty period between Yom Kippur and Sukkos, in which our ancestors donated all of the funds and material necessary to build the Mishkan--the first "earthly" sanctuary for Hashem since the creation of Man some 2448 years earlier. At that time, we had just been forgiven for the Sin of the Golden Calf, and more than anxiously desired to keep the Shechina with us after Yom Kippur. In an incredible display and confirmation of the power of Teshuva, Hashem brought back the Ananei Kovod, the Clouds of Glory, and ordered the building of the Mishkan in order to house the Shechina in an intensified form in this World. We, too, should bask in this period--so that the Shechina's more intense presence that we experienced on Yom Kippur can in some measure remain with us. HaRav Eliyahu Lopian, Z'TL, comments on the puzzling language that we read daily in the Shema: 'Kimei Hashamyaim Al Ha'Aretz--like the days of the heavens on the earth.' What does this mean? HaRav Lopian explains that the Pasuk is reminding us that we should have 'days of heaven' here on Earth. Just as on Yom Kippur we behave like angels (no eating or drinking, etc., reciting Baruch Shem out loud...), so too in the days after Yom Kippur should we continue our lives on a more elevated plain. In fact, Chazal teach that the first day of Sukkos is referred to in the Torah as the 'First Day' and not the fifteenth of Tishrei (Vayikra 23:40), because we should be so busy after Yom Kippur doing Mitzvos that it becomes the first possible day in which a moment of sin could arise. How can we keep this higher status--at least for the time being? We present two suggestions: Suggestion One: Acting with alacrity. HaRav Shmuel Berenbaum, Shlita, once noted that the root of all bad middos is atzlus, or laziness. Acting with zerizus, on the other hand, energizes and uplifts a person to a level he thought was heretofore unattainable. The Mesilas Yesharim brings the middah of zerizus very early on as a necessary stepping stone to elevation of character. As we look for the Lulav and Esrog, as we build a Sukkah, as we go shopping for food or clothing for Yom Tov, as we bake and cook, as we wash and clean, we should distinguish ourselves by a happy--not harried--demeanor and by an enthused--not overtired or overburdened--attitude. If, on the first day of Sukkos, we can look back at a supernally pleasant experience, we know we have succeeded. Suggestion Two: In addition to keeping the right attitude during this period and properly appreciating our privileged status, we also suggest that we take the time either while sitting down or while traveling from errand to errand, to think about some of the thoughts we had on Yom Kippur. Did I really give Tzedaka properly throughout the year--or was I too hard-hearted? Did I really ever make a Chilul Hashem? Am I prone to chatter--or even making many meaningless (or at least not meaningful) statements? Briefly review the Al Chaits. Take a few notes for yourself and keep them with you to glance at during the day. It may even pay not to put away the Yom Kippur Machzor, or the Viduy Booklet that you have, until Sukkos, so that you can open it and remind yourself as to where you were and where you want to go this year. Of course, you can suggest this approach to a family member or friend and you can do this together. In fact, the Rabbeinu Yonah, in the Igerres HaTeshuva (1:22) writes that it is a 'Takanah Gedola', it is of great assistance, to a person to find a friend or even a Rav or other mentor to discuss more heavenly matters with, and give, take, or exchange advice on maintaining and raising our Ruchniyus now and even throughout the year. The time is ripe to keep ourselves elevated. If we are flying high, we should try to maintain the altitude--and the attitude! We urge you to try our tried and true suggestions, so that as we enter Sukkos, we still feel the Yom Kippur within us. -------------------------- reprinted with permission from Hakhel MIS

Posted 10/5/2006 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week

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