Printed from ChabadNewOrleans.com

Keeping it Fresh

Friday, 9 July, 2010 - 10:51 am

Please take a moment and read the article below in the news section about the new women's Mikvah that recently opened in New Orleans. For additional photos of the Mikvah by Alexander Barkoff click here.

Please also take a moment to check out the link below in the feature section about the period of mourning for the Beit Hamikdash in which we currently find ourselves.

A few weeks ago I attended my cousin's wedding. I am blessed by G-d to be part of a large extended family and have attended many cousins' weddings over the years. Sitting at the wedding reception and trying to keep my one year son occupied, I began to think about how each wedding seems to be more or less the same. The venue, the menu, the band, the company, and the dancing all seem to feel like deja vu. As such, how do we ensure that it does not become a "ho-hum" experience. And then it hit me - for the bride and groom this is no deja vu. For them the wedding is an unprecendented moment which they have eagerly anticipated and dreamt about their whole life. Celebrating their unique joy, is what makes each wedding special.

As I thought about it, I realized that we can derive a major lesson in our relationship with Hashem from this notion. In the Shema we say, "And you shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart, soul and might. And these words which I command you today shall be upon your heart." Our sages comment on the word "today," that it instructs us that each and every day must be approached as if these words, the Torah, were just spoken to us. In other words, the Torah and Mitzvot need to be kept fresh and new each day.

Just like at the wedding, for the individual bride and groom this is not deja vu but the most significant moment in life, so too each day's Torah study and Mitzvah observance must be like a treasure that was just discovered.

How can we keep it fresh? By finding new inspiration on a regular basis. The Torah is vast. There is enough in the Torah to keep us inspired for an entire lifetime and more. It is up to us to tap into the deep resources of the Torah, which will serve to keep things fresh. This is especially true of the deeper dimension of Torah - the teachings of Chassidism. Today, more than ever, Torah teachings are accessible to us in ways that could not have been imagined in previous eras. Internet articles, translated books, and online video and audio classes, not to mention good old fashioned learning with a Rabbi, are just some of the ways that we can utilize the treasures that we have. Let's do what we can to keep things fresh.

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