August 18, 2007

Honest introspection is like the stock market

Watching how G-d loves me each day and how He interacts with me each day is like watching my ranking in Technorati go up and down. One day I'm doing great and the next day, well, not so good.

In the month of Elul we are taught that this is the time to prepare ourselves for the upcoming holiest days in the Jewish calendar. Our sages teach us that Teshuva, Tefila, and Tzedaka (Repentance, Prayer, and Charity) can reverse the heavenly decree.

Each of us, no matter what our level of observance is, no matter how far away we feel we are from Our Father in Heaven, no matter what grieving, pain and shame we have garnered from our mistakes, each one of us has the power to embrace G-d and become closer to Him. This is what we are taught.

We are also taught that we must live each day ever mindful that we are - do - exist - live - always in the presence of G-d. This is Elul, we are just past Rosh Chodesh, one month before Rosh Hashanah. Three books are being opened, one for the righteous people, one book for evil people, and one book for the rest of us, the mediocre people.

It's true that G-d uses a measure for measure interaction in our lives but if a person is a righteous person and knows he lives a spiritual life and knows that he lives in the presence of G-d then usually God prepares that person in this life with a court of merit. If someone does something bad or good, G-d should make you feel that pain or that happiness in this world. However most of us live in a materialistic world and G-d cannot pay us in a spiritual currency. We will pay for a spiritual suffering up there if we are not righteous. This is what we are taught.

Elul is an abbreviation of Ani l'dodi v'dodi li. I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. My husband and I spoke these words to each other at our wedding ceremony.

HaShem is our Beloved. Our Beloved is ours. May we all feel throughout the month of Elul and the coming year that He is our Beloved and that we are beloved by Him. We are taught that that is what His will is.

My prayer is may it ever be His will, and may it ever be my will to be His beloved. There is no greater love.

Amen.