Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tonight at ten- iYH- chapter ten of Da es Atzemcha

Shavua Tov!

I read this and thought it was perfect for deep introspection in Elul...

At times when you must let go and you ask someone to push you, you must know where you want to be pushed. You must know your destination.
Rabbi Mendel Futerfas, who spent many years in a Siberian gulag, tells how he learned a great lesson from a tightrope walker who was also imprisoned there.
The rabbi asked the tightrope walker what is the secret to his art. "What does one need to master? Balance? Stamina? Concentration?"
The tightrope walker's answered surprised him: "The secret is always keeping your destination in focus. You have to keep your eyes on at the other end of the rope, and that's how you get there is a straight line, without wavering. But do you know what the hardest part is?"
"When you get to the middle?" the rabbi ventured.
"No," said the tightrope walker. "It's when you make the turn. Because for a fraction of a second, you lose sight of your destination. When you don't have sight of your destination that is when you are most likely to fall."
Life is something like a tightrope. To navigate it successfully you must have your destination in focus. You must know where you are going. When the time comes to make a turn, and for a moment you cannot see where you are headed, you have to have your destination in your mind's eye.
The ultimate destination—the final goal of all human efforts throughout history—is called geulah ("redemption"), when the world will realize its purpose and reach ultimate refinement. The Jewish people have always kept their eyes on this destination; it gave them the power and freedom to forge ahead, despite all difficulties.
Geulah is not a destination you can see by looking in front of you, you can only see it by looking inside you.
Real focus is not physical, it is transcendental. Real focus is your relationship with your Divine mission.  If it is well developed, it can guide you past the moments of danger, and keep you moving with confidence even in moments of greatest fear and darkness.
Ask yourself: Do you have a real focus in your life?  Do you have a larger goal?  

  • Exercise for the day:
    - Identify your personal mission in life. What do you believe is your calling in this world?
    - If you have difficulty with this, identify the steps you must take to discover your mission.

Excerpt from 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, by Simon Jacobson. ©Copyright The Meaningful Life Center, 2014. All rights

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