Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seder Hayom (1): Modeh Ani

In conjunction with the shul's daily halacha initiative, I would like to complement the halachos we are learning with some insights into avoda with the words of the Rebbe and other tzadikim, specifically those who are connected to Hornosteipel, namely Beis Chernobyl, the Baal Hatanya, the Rebbe Reb Zisha, Sanz, Kantikuziv, etc. I doubt I will be able to post on this every day but b'siyata dishmaya I hope to stay more or less on schedule with the program.

Upon awakening in the morning we say Modeh Ani. The Rebbe said that truthfully, if any one of us would contemplate "where we are holding" vis-à-vis what Hashem wants and expects of us the likelihood is that we wouldn't be able to get out of bed. We are so far from fulfilling our potential, from being what we know we are capable of being that we would rightfully be completely overwhelmed, especially if we were to think about all the things we have done wrong as well.

However, when a person realizes that he has woken up, that Hashem has returned his soul to his body, there is no greater joy and charge than that. There would be no reason for Hashem to give me back my soul if I was really so far gone and helpless. The very fact that I opened my eyes this morning means beyond any shadow of a doubt that I can rectify what needs to be rectified and I can fulfill Hashem's and my own expectations. The greatest gift Hashem gives us is the knowledge that he trusts in us and he believes in us.

When we say Modeh Ani, the last part of the tefila says, "rabah emunasecha". The simple understanding is that "Your faithfulness is great"; we are referring to the fact that Hashem is  faithful in returning the soul to the body. But it can also be read to mean, "How great is Your faith [in me]!" I thank you Hashem for my soul, but that's not all. Because You were faithful and returned my soul, I know that You have faith in me to do that which is incumbent upon me. We start the day with this realization of the high esteem in which Hashem holds each and every one of us.

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