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Getting the Message

Thursday, 20 September, 2012 - 11:38 pm

An elderly man, who had not accessed his bank account for many years, sent his grandson to make a withdrawal. The bank manager calls to ask for his account password, to which he replies, “Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Baton Rouge.” The smiling banker inquires as to the origin of this original password, to which the old man replies, “They told me I needed a password that had seven characters and one capital.”

Clearly the elderly man did not get the message. We are currently in middle of the Days of Awe. During a season such as this one we must ask ourselves if we are “getting the message.” Many people resolve to do things different for the coming year. This is a wonderful practice. However, we must consider carefully what kind of resolutions we take upon ourselves in light of the time in which we find ourselves.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are days that are meant to be focused on our relationship with Hashem. On Rosh Hashanah we coronate Hashem as our king (Malkeinu) and on Yom Kippur we highlight the special intensity of our deep connection to Hashem. Chasidism teaches that Neilah (closing) means that the doors of heaven close, leaving us inside alone with G-d.

May I therefore suggest that our resolutions take on the nature of the times? In addition to resolving to be more health conscious, less stressed, increase family ties, less scattered etc., let us also and more importantly resolve to pay more attention to prayer, Torah study and Mitzvah observance. In doing so, we will find that many of the other matters begin to fall into place as well.

May Hashem seal us all for a year of health, happiness, prosperity and meaning!

Mazel Tov to Julie and Jim Gillis and family upon the birth of their daughter Tamar Elisheva!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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