A New Year Overflowing With Blessings

Friday, 27 September, 2019 - 10:23 am

In this week’s Torah portion Moses declares: And it will be, when all these things come upon you the blessing and the curse which I have set before you that you will consider in your heart… and you will return to the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day you and your children.” (Deut. 30:1-2)

The gist of the message here is that when we are complacent in our relationship with Hashem, extenuating circumstances are then employed to get us back on track. The Rebbe points out that the conventional wisdom is that those circumstances usually appear in the form of challenges (curses). However the word blessings is also snuck into the verse. This teaches that Hashem can also use a showering of blessings to get our attention focused on our connection with Him.

Here are two brief lessons that I take from this teaching. Our interpersonal relationships can and should mirror our relationship with Hashem. Sometimes (in a marriage, for example,) the relationship is faltering because of lack of focus or complacency. The conventional approach to dealing with this, is to respond in kind (curses or challenges). The lesson here is, that showering blessings and being loving that can also serve to shake the other person out of complacency and into focus. One can argue, that this is an even more effective approach than the first.

The second, is a wish to each and every one of us is, that Hashem should shower us with blessings beyond our capacity to anticipate how great those blessings can be. This will serve to snap us out of our complacency and refocus on this most important relationship with our G-d.

Wishing us all the blessings for the New Year in every aspect of our lives. May it be good in an open and revealed manner as per the infinite capacity of generosity of which Hashem is capable.

If you are still looking for a place to experience the High Holidays, we are saving a seat for you at any of our Chabad locations – New Orleans, Metairie, Biloxi or Baton Rouge. We have prayer books with English translation. All of the services are accompanied by commentary, stories and inspiration. The atmosphere is heimish – warm and homelike. Come on by.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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