29 Iyar 5781 / Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
 
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Start Living



I don’t want you to just read this article and file it away somewhere. This article contains the key to living real life – and I want you to start living!

 



Moshe is the head of the family in every sense of the word. He puts all of his energy into taking care of his family for the last 20 years. He wants them to have everything. And therefore, he works very hard. He gets up early in the morning to go to work, and comes home after the little ones have already gone to bed.  

 

He looks forward to spending time with his family on Shabbat and holidays… but he is often so tired that he ends up sleeping during so many of those precious hours that he would otherwise want to learn Torah with his children or connect with his wife and children on a deeper level. 

 

Maybe if he had time to consider the situation it would upset him, but he is so busy and pressured that he doesn’t even have one second to think before he is thrown into another insane week… 

 

Life Begins 

The phone call that everyone dreads – was exactly what saved his life. One fine day, he received a call that someone in his family that they had recently visited for Shabbat had fallen ill with Corona – and he and his whole family had to go into quarantine. His life was now “frozen” for two full weeks.  

 

Suddenly, he was stuck in the house with his whole family and he can’t go to work. But to his surprise, after a few days, he realized that he was living in a whole new world. Suddenly he had time to sit and speak with his wife in a way that he hadn’t in years. Instead of short conversations dealing with the practical matters of running the home, finally he got into her head and her heart and understood her in a totally new way. And his children – they’re people too! He hadn’t even realized how much his teenagers had matured, and how much they needed a father to discuss topics he never even fathomed they were coping with. He was forced to admit that he hardly knew his children – and they hardly knew him. 

 

At that point, Moshe realized that until he started quarantine, he really had not been living at all. He had lost out on real life, and life with the people who were so precious to him. The exact people who in theory, he was supposed to be working on their behalf… 

 

Moshe is a practical businessman. He has no energy to waste on mourning the past. But he made an absolute resolution: From now on, I am going to start truly living! I am going to put my family first!  

 

I Don’t Have Time to Live 

My dear readers – I want you to start living too!  

 

And as strong as this message is on the practical level, which I want you to consider once and twice how to apply to your everyday life - I also want you to take it to another level – the spiritual level. 

 

When it comes to serving Hashem, there are lots of very important commandments to do. But the underlying point of all the mitzvot is to come closer to Hashem, and have a personal relationship with Him. Sometimes, a person finds himself so busy sending the kids to learn Torah at school, and then off to learn Torah himself, and be able to give charity, and of course pray in a minyan 3 times a day, and and and… and he doesn’t have time to actually build a personal relationship with Hashem, which is the entire point! They are running to serve Hashem in every way possible, running in circles around the purpose, without ever actually attaining it. Which is to say, that they don’t have time to live life itself. 

 

Okay, So What IS Living, Then? 

It begs the question: If performing mitzvot isn’t the essential purpose – then what is? 

 

The verse says, “Tefilla l’El Chai” – “prayer to the Living God.” That means – Real life is prayer. 

 

The true connection with G-d that we are all running around the achieve day and night – is prayer. 

 

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi says that prayer is a “seed of time” and its fruits – are the rest of what you do 24/7. Therefore, prayer is the pinnacle of life. 

 

But we are so busy running that we don’t have time to stop and live! We don’t have time to speak to Hashem and create a deep relationship with Him! We are running in circles around life, but never stop to enter into it deeply… 

 

Living is Not a Waste of Time 

Recognize that this is the biggest mistake of our life – that we all make. 

 

Everything seems so important until we don’t have time for life itself! As Chazal says, “The thing that the entire world stands on – and people slight it.” 

 

Chazal isn’t just talking about people who don’t keep Torah and mitzvot. Chazal is specifically referring to even Torah scholars who don’t properly appreciate the value of prayer and especially hitbodedut  setting aside time to speak to G-d in your own words. They mistakenly believe that they are a waste of time, and bitul Torah – the very serious prohibition of wasting time that should have been spent learning Torah. They can learn Torah all day – but they aren’t living.  

 

Rebbe Nachman says that personal prayer is the purpose for which we were put on this earth. Any day that you  haven’t  done  hitbodedut, is a day that you didn’t fulfill your purpose – which means, that day you didn’t really live. 

 

Start Living! 

I’ve written a lot about prayer and personal prayer, but I want you to not just read this and say, “Oh yes, that is important,” and then keep going about your day like normal. I want you to really consider and re-consider the story of Moshe, and let it shock you until you change the way you relate to your family – and G-d. 

 

Most of the people I know who truly live now, who recognize the power and the value of prayer and life in accordance – didn’t come to that recognition on their own. They had a major life shock, oftentimes a serious illness l”a or other severe suffering. Now they thank Hashem for what they went through, because it forced them to start living real life. 

 

I want you to realize this truth – without having to go through such a situation, G-d forbid. Why wait for Hashem to hit you over the head so to speak, to start living? Why not wake up not, and save our lives with our own hands? 

 

The time is NOW to wake up and start anew – and start truly living! 

 

I want you to tell yourself – From today I am going to start praying, and not just reading (or speed reading) through the prayers 3 times a day! And from today, I am making time for real life – hitbodedut! The most important thing in life must come first! Life itself comes first!!! 

 

G-d is the one who gave you life, and when you take time to speak to Him, it is He who can give you everything you want in your life – the success, the blessing, the deep feeling of worth and accomplishment, the strength you need to do it all.  

 

You don’t have to be like Moshe for 2 whole weeks – just put yourself in quarantine for one hour a day to speak to Hashem. 

 

 





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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  Hisbodidus/personal private prayer
Dr Alex Pister4/25/2021 7:46:22 AM
     
 

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