It’s Elul, the time to prepare for Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. Women are learning May You Have a Day on their own and together with friends and family. They tell me a chapter or two a day is making a real difference in their life. (There are 120 chapters!) Read a chapter such as the one below. Share your thoughts with a friend, relative or a child. Talk it over with Hashem. Get started. You never know how far you can go unless you begin.
From Chapter 21: Your New Self
Rebbe Nachman tells us that our service of God, our mitzvot, and the good deeds we do are like our children. Before a woman gives birth, she has to undergo contractions and birth pangs, she cries and screams. Before we can truly connect to God, before we can rise to a new spiritual level, we have to undergo spiritual contractions and birth pangs …
It’s so difficult to take ourselves to that next level … not only are we giving birth to a new version of ourselves, but we are giving birth to positive new energies in this world. Don’t be discouraged if things are difficult when you want to grow. Challenge yourself and believe you can do it. Don’t let the difficulties discourage you – hang in there. Endure it. Take some deep breaths. Ignore the suffering and focus on the outcome. The outcomes will be a new you and a better world.
May you have a day in which you believe in your innate ability to go higher no matter what you’re facing.
Photo credit: Etrog Blossoms by Chana Sneider
Scroll down to watch: Preparing for Rosh Hashana, connecting to Hashem, prayer, clapping for the King, crowning Hashem King, Yom Teruah, Shofar and a broken heart, the Machzor (the holiday “siddur”), Yom HaDin, judgment, Baal Shem Tov, Teshuvah, Rebbe Nachman’s Teshuvah, New Year’s Resolutions, positive/pure thoughts, looking for the nikudos tovos, Tzaddik, sweetening judgment, weep like a child, less talking, making a new beginning, starting over, and more. Have a Sweet New Year.
“There is a custom of referring to the day after Yom Kippur as “the Name of God”. This is because the true greatness of God is revealed after Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, God is reconciled with Israel [the Jewish people] and forgives them for all their sins. As a simple consequence, all harsh decrees and punishments are lifted – and it is through this that God’s greatness is revealed.”
—Advice (Likutey Eitzos), Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
Yesterday, as we fasted and davened, a feeling of awe and purity washed over us. We connected with the mind-blowing reality that through the power instilled by Hashem in the day of Yom Kippur, we were able to atone for our transgressions and fix the seemingly unfixable. What an incredible payoff for a bit of effort and emunas teshuvah, faith in the power of repentance.
Today all painful decrees are lifted and we can get on with the business of preparing for Sukkos, Yesterday we felt we reached a higher level of closeness to Hashem, and today we feel a bit more secure in our relationship with Him. We’re ready to