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).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Life Choice

During the season of the Yomim Noraim, we customarily wish each other “to be written and sealed” in the Book of Life. The Maggid of Mezritch and Rav Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye both comment that the “writing” is not a verdict dictated by the Almighty but it is rather of our own volition that we are inscribed in whichever book we choose. We must ask ourselves: where do we want to be? Do we want to write ourselves down in the Book of Life, with all that that has to offer? Or, chas v’vshalom, one may decide it too difficult an undertaking and he may choose to write his name and that of his family in the other Book.

Every year the King gathers together all of his ministers to a cabinet meeting. The agenda is to figure out if all of the previous years’ endeavors and campaigns are worth renewing for the coming year. Each official must prepare a portfolio containing a viable game-plan with all of the logistics and financial aspects in place. The goal is to convince the King that his department is worth having around.

The nimshal is obvious and it is this report that we need to prepare during Elul and hopefully it is good enough that to make a “done deal” straight away during the first meeting. The tzadikim write and seal their plan on the first day of Rosh Hashana. Hashem is a merciful and kind King, and for those who didn’t quite make the cut, He makes a second meeting and yet a third for those who couldn’t finish writing their Book in time. The reshaim, those who chose to write themselves in the "Book Not Of Life", are simply people who either didn’t put together a plan or their plan is so out of touch with the needs of the Kingdom that Hashem says they are not worth keeping (at least not in the same position they were in until now). The beinonim, those somewhere in the middle, are the ones who are frantically trying to put their report together. Hashem sees their earnest and steadfast commitment to writing their Book of Life so He extends the deadline until Yom Kippur and even until Hoshana Rabba.

(We know from the Arizal and others that there is a bit of the radiance of the G'mar Din that shines on the last day of Chanuka. The reshaim already handed in their report, a "Book Not Of Life" that had them condemned already on Rosh Hashana. It is for the beinonim who were sincere in their attempts to produce a compelling and feasible plan all the while that this light shines on Chanuka and gives them the chance to write themselves in the Book of Life.)

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