I can find time for that…

In Koheles, Shlomo Hamelech so eloquently portrays the value of time: Lakol zman va’eis tachas Hashamayim – “Everything has its season, a time for everything under the heavens (3:1).  But there is a mussar lesson to be learned as well:

Lakol – for everything that a person desires, zman va’eis – one can find enough time, tachas Hashamayim – for worldly matters, i.e. for pleasure, relaxation, and temptation, one channels all his energy into gashmiyus and matters of little importance.  However, when it comes to important issues, matters of spiritual purpose that actually count up in Heaven, suddenly he has no more time. ~ R’ Avraham Menachem Fischoff in Torah Tavlin

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The Upper Worlds

When one sits in a succah, and he learns and davens there, he is living in the upper worlds literally… ~ The Yesod Yosef

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It Shines

On Succos, the highest light, which is the light of emuna, shines.  When a person has emuna – he has everything.  When a person knows that everything is Hashem’s will and for the best – and he does not just know this – he breathes it, he lives it – his life is Gan Eden.  ~ R’ Menachem Azolai, Shlita

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Yiras Shamayim

Chazal say, “Everything is in Heaven’s hands, except for yiras Shamayaim.” The Rebbe of Kotzk zt’l explains that when one prays for material matters, Heaven decides whether it is good for him to receive this or not. But when one prays for Torah,
mitzvos, and yiras Shamayim, his requests are always answered, because
that is unquestionably a good thing.

Chazal hint to this when they say, everything is up to Heaven to decide whether to give it or not, the exception is when one prays for yiras Shamayim, because Hashem will certainly give it to him. ~ R’ Elimelech Biderman, Shlita

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First we pray and then we do our hishtaldus.  But remember, “it isn’t hishtaldus that helps.  It is an obligation…a tax all mankind must pay…  After one does this obligation, Hashem’s blessings can come.  ~ Mesilas Yesharim

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Suggestion #10 – Speak Softly and Smile

Last two suggestions before Yom Kippur:

Let’s work on the very first piece of advice that the Ramban gave his son in his Igeret HaRamban: “Get into the habit of always speaking calmly to everyone. This will prevent you from anger, a serious character flaw which causes people to sin.”

Second, let’s smile more.  In Pirkei Avos (1:15) Shammai says: Receive every person with a “sever panim yafos” (a pleasant countenance).  In other words, Smile at people when you greet them. Smiling at someone will not only lift their mood, but it is also contagious.  They will end up smiling at others who will smile at others and in the end, your one smile will change the world.   But not only are smiles good for others; they are good for you too. We know for a fact that smiling reduces stress, makes you happier and improves your overall heath.

May we all light up the world with our smiles and have a g’mar chasima tovah!

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Suggestion #9 -Don’t Procrastinate

Let’s work on two items today:  Saying brachos with more kavanah and not forgetting to say a bracha achrona.

How often do we say a bracha on food without thinking?  The Arizal taught, “The primary matter which leads to ruach hakadosh is to say the brachos over food with kavanah.”  Let’s slow it down a little and give these brachos some more thought.

Second, I am sure I am not the only one that will eat something and intend to say a bracha achrona, but hesitate because you think you will eat or drink more…Then you realize some time later that you didn’t say the bracha achrona or even bench.   Therefore, let’s not procrastinate.  Just say the bracha achrona immediately after you finish eating.   

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