A Beautiful Custom
As is known in communities all around the world, there is a beautiful custom that Baal Shem Tov initiated of saying extra chapters of King David’s Book of Psalms, Tehillim, each day, from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul through Yom Kippur. Let’s take a closer look at one of today’s extra chapters:
Chapter 77 verse 4 says: “I remember G-d and I stir; I speak and my spirit becomes faint, forever”.
Rashi, the Torah’s foremost commentator, explains that the first part of the phrase : “I remember G-d” refers to The kindness that He used to do for me. And, the second part beginning: “I speak” is talking about the acts of kindness and the favors. The verse finishes with: “and my spirit becomes faint,” meaning to faint from extreme emotion.
The World is Catching Up
It’s interesting. In recent years, the world has spoken much about the concept of gratitude and how beneficial it is spiritually and even physically. On Google, there are nearly 300 million results for being grateful. Well, King David, the King of Israel, whose son King Solomon built the holy Temple in Jerusalem where it’s outer wall, the Western Wall, still stands today, already supplied us with this crucial information more than 2,000 years ago.
When we think back and remember all the good G-d has done for us, when we recall the many kindnesses He has done for us and for our ancestors, we can’t help but feel grateful.
The King Has Faith in You, So You Should Too
But, in these special days of introspection before Rosh Hashanah, when we take the time to look back on our past deeds and try to improve ourselves, we have to be careful. Yes, we must dedicate ourselves to sincere teshuva, to returning and strengthening our relationship with G-d by committing to improve ourselves and our lives, but we should not become dejected in the process. We can, and must, stay positive knowing that G-d has faith in us to be His partners in making the world a better place. And the proof is…… we are here! Like we say in the morning prayer Modeh Ani upon awakening, You G-d have returned my soul to me and have faith in me to use it in the best way possible today.
So my friends, stay strong, stay focused and make each day the best it can truly be.