Enlighten our Eyes - Day 48
Rabbi Y.S. Goldschmidt
Our weekly excerpt from the book "Enlighten our Eyes" (translated from the Hebrew sefer called "Ve'ha'er Eineinu")
Warmth and Enthusiasm: Serving Hashem with joy will empower you to rise after every fall. Reb Moshe Shmuel Shapiro zt ״l once told a confidant that whilst influencing bochurim, he found a need to place more and more emphasis on putting warmth into Yiddishkeit. This, he said, was in order to counterbalance the ever-increasing downward pull of the outside world, as the years went by .(בספר זהב משבא)
Putting warmth into our Yiddishkeit is not about sticking out externally. It’s about feeling good to be doing mitzvos and adding inner effort whilst performing them.
In moments of inspiration of teshuvah, do not let your mind stick to this one particular struggle, lest all enthusiasm be drained. Rather, think seriously about other areas such as honouring the Shabbos, Kibud av v’em, Shmiras halashon, etc. - mitzvos you do already, and now add a little more feeling.Allow other areas into the centre. Open your heart and be aware of the enormous value of each and every mitzvah.
Upbeat thoughts before a mitzvah, together with added external zest whilst doing the mitzvah, have immediate effects on our practicing of mitzvos. All this done with the intention of affecting inner feelings can slowly change our very essence. As the Chinuch tells us אחרי המעשים נמשכים הלבבות - people’s natures change in line with their habitual form of behaviour.
With generosity of spirit, we can allow ourselves to feel a part of Klal Yisroel, a part of something bigger. A Yid is never alone!
Feel lucky knowing that despite everything, Hashem is there waiting, again and again, to hear the Shema Yisroel of every single Yid.
Krias Shema: Krias Shema said with sincerity every day, affects one’s inner self sooner then expected. Krias Shema speaks to those with great challenges, too. It talks of אשר אתם זונים אחריהם and sets the goal that one day we can all attain בכל לבבך , wholehearted service of Hashem.
Krias Shema does not just talk about the transformation of one’s inner self; it actually brings about subtle changes that become increasingly more powerful.
Take Note: Observe signs of progress; be happy and relieved as the line on the graph isn’t only going down, but starts to look more promising. Notice how the inability to fulfill certain ״unnecessary ״ desires becomes less frustrating, more tolerable and even desirable ( מהר״ל נצח ישראל פ״ג ). Congratulate yourself!