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).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mind, Heart, Action

The following piece was written by the Rebbe, Harav Michel Twerski, shlit"a, for the Tishrei season in 1969 and was originally published in "Turning Pages". The first part is geared for before Rosh Hashana but the rest is for Yom Kippur and Succos. Practically speaking, although we are technically past Rosh Hashana, I would venture to guess that we can still apply the ideas contained in the first section as well.

As we approach the Rosh Hashanah holiday, it would be of interest to us to see if we can discover a relationship between the celebration of the New Year and the rich holiday season which it ushers in. We note that the New Year is rapidly followed by Yom Kippur, Succos and Simchas Torah. Are each of these meant to be taken as independent occasions, or is there some meaningful concept which brings them all together?

Rosh Hashanah is a time when the mind predominates. One concentrates on the examination of the past with a sharp, diligent and objective set of tools. We ask ourselves how we spent our time. What were our goals? What did we accomplish? Where did we fail? These and other questions are pursued in depth until we have separated ourselves from the errors of the past, and can begin constructive plans for the future. Thus, though we need the perseverance of a committed heart, it is the mind that is the focus of the holiday’s intent.

Yom Kippur is clearly a time of the heart. For now that we have acknowledged what our failures and mistakes are, we must bring them out of obscurity, and we must meaningfully understand what such action means in terms of our lives. We must authentically experience repentance and submit before G-d a genuine and regretful heart. As one of the Chasidic greats said, “There is nothing as whole as a broken heart.”

When we have rid ourselves of our neglectful ways, we can commit ourselves to a more constructive future. Now the Torah calls us out of our homes and we enter the “Succah”, a makeshift hut that calls the sky its roof. It seems as though the simplicity of the life it indicates is trying to communicate to us a very vital message, that all of the resolve and commitment will be of little consequence until we can free ourselves from the alluring net of materialism, and our seeking continually after comfort. That done, we can actively pursue the goals that the New Year and the Day of Atonement have placed before us. Having reached this pinnacle, we witness true happiness, and we celebrate the Rejoicing over the Torah.

We offer our prayer and blessings that this holiday season may be one in which the Almighty shall lead us to the successful conceptualization of each part of the whole of the holiday season, and may He grant that it be for our people everywhere a year of happiness and peace.

No comments: