You Have a New Notification From G-d

Friday, 16 July, 2021 - 11:37 am

A prominent feature of modern technology such as smart phones and computers, is notifications. One might be walking, driving, sleeping, working, reading, (or even praying) when all of a sudden there is the ping or short vibration of a notification on your smartphone.

It might be Facebook notifying you that your friends haven’t heard from you in while, and encouraging you to post something important, like your thoughts on the government’s handling of the pandemic or who will be the New Orleans Saints next starting quarterback. It might be YouTube notifying you that a new episode of a favorite series has been posted. It might be a text message from a family member or friend. It might be one of a thousand WhatsApp messages. It might be Zelle notifying you that money has been posted to your account. It might be your ID protection app informing you that they just prevented an attempted infiltration of your bank account. Speaking of bank accounts, it might be your online banking app telling you that your monthly statement is now available for download. It might be the weather app cautioning about an impending flash flood warning. Or maybe your Breaking News app telling you about the latest corruption scandal in Louisiana politics. You get the picture.  

Does it even happen that you are going about your merry (or not so merry) way when all of a sudden you feel an urge to do something G-dly? Maybe a niggling feeling to go to shul or lay tefillin. Perhaps an inclination to have Friday night dinner or attend a class. Maybe it is a yen to call your parents or spend some quality time with your spouse or children. It may be a pull to volunteer for a project that helps the needy.

Whence do these unanticipated urges originate? It’s not like I was thinking about those things in the preceding moments.

Surely, the fact that we possess a soul that is inherently connected to G-d would be a sufficient explanation for the presence of such desires and inclinations. But why now? Why not yesterday or tomorrow?

Chassidus explains, that this is a result of a notification from Hashem. Built into the operating system of our souls is that capacity for a notification system. It is not incessant, because that would detract from our freedom to choose. But on occasion there is a little ping or vibration from above that awakens those urges for improvement. The notifications are so slight that they barely register. Yet, it is just enough to get the process going. When we view the notification and initiate the course of change, this is called Teshuvah.

Next time you feel the ping or the vibration of your soul, click on it and follow the suggestions. It could be a game changer!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin 

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