TODAY IS YOUR DAY | Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

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Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

There is a strange relationship between our age and the quality of life’s regrets. When we are young we tend to be self-righteous and less cognizant of our own shortcomings. Even when the young regret something, their future seems limitless, filled with evergreen promise. After all, the supply of time seems inexhaustible and there will always be plenty of time to fix what’s broken.

But as age creeps up on us, our hearts ache with regret and remorse. That eternal future seems to dissipate, past mistakes become embedded and taking new and positive turns becomes ever harder. There is a moment of awakening when we begin to obsess over ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda’ and despair over ever making any real change. We lose our inner resolve and think that we are too old to alter our ways, so ‘why bother’.

The coming month of Elul heralds the season for teshuva. Yet for many, as regret and change are the very building blocks of personal teshuva, Elul ceases to be a time for optimism and renewal. Sadly, the gift of Elul becomes a harbinger of spirit-crushing thoughts of that old mantra of ‘woulda, shoulda, coulda.’

The first passage of this week’s Parsha tells us:

‘Behold I have set the Blessing before you TODAY’ 

The Rebbe Rav Liebela Eiger Ztl of Lublin explains that the emphasis on ‘TODAY’ is to challenge any depressing thoughts. The Torah is assuring all Yidden, of all generations, that THE Brocha is before us TODAY, this very day.

Among the seven Shabbosim of Nechama that follow Tisha B’Av, the greatest chizuk can be bound up with the word of HaYom, Today. This teaches us that vast tracts of time are not needed to set things right. On any given day, at any given time, as long as one begins to regret their mistakes, their salvation is at hand. At that moment and any such time,        Hashem sets THE blessing before him.

This is why Parsha Re’eh is always read the Shabbos before Elul begins. It sensitives us all to the fact that the Eibishter recognises our regret and general awakening to teshuva and immediately responds by setting the brochos before us TODAY.

The most famous allusion to the upcoming month ‘Ani L’Dodee, V’Dodee Lee’  ‘I am for my beloved and my Beloved is for me’, (Shir Hashirim 6:3) imparts the same message. The Eibishter Kaveuchal is immediate with His response. The moment ‘I am for my Beloved’ my Beloved reciprocates and ‘is for me’.

Di herst Corona Yidden?  Do you hear?  We are never too old, never to forlorn. Recent challenges have been difficult, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed. But it is Elul, the trees cry out to each of us. We need but turn our weary hearts towards Hashem. The message comes to us without hectoring but with love. Hashem will be there for each of us, at whatever level, with His eternal brocha.

Ani L’Dodi, V’Dodi Li sweeps up with the caress of our eternal bond with Kaveuchal the Bashefer. The world gropes for light, whilst Elul whispers that our blessings are vouchsafed. It may be a different sort of Rosh Hashanah this year, but trust me it will be the one Hashem seeks from us. We have been placed just where our neshoma needs to be for its tikun.  A Torah life is lived with the spiritual ability to constantly refresh and face each epoch as ‘TODAY’. Please don’t be stifled by the past, refresh your neshoma with HaYom and surge forward with new resolve. Elul calls our very being, now more than ever we need its support to bring us closer to ‘Our Beloved’.


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