20 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | Torah Reading: mattot
 
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5 Tips for 5777    

5 Tips for 5777



The way to truly perfecting ourselves is through prayer. Prayer helps us rise above our natural limitations in our character and brings forth blessing in our lives…

 



The word “shofar” which in Hebrew has it’s root letters as a “ש פ ר” also creates the same root letters to form the word ”לשפר” , which means to improve. The following are some guidelines on things you want to think about when making gain in your spiritual life this coming year…

 

1. Wake up on Time

 

When studying the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch one can’t help but notice that the very first law in Judaism is to wake up with eagerness to serve Hashem. A person according to Jewish law should make every attempt to overcome the evil inclination which consistently traps people with tricks to snooze the morning away. A person should think that if someone were to call him to a business matter, or to save his money from a loss - as if there were a fire in the city—a person would immediately get up because of the love he has for his money. Similarly, a person should get up eagerly without hesitation to report for the King’s service. The Shulchan Aruch says that it takes about four to five times to accustom oneself to this until it ceases to be difficult for him. The reason is as the Gemara says in Tractate Yoma 38B, “A person who comes to purify himself is helped.”

 

2. Consistency in Learning

 

 

Many times we start a learning session and easily get distracted with our phones or other important matters. Maybe we learn mostly at home, which although praiseworthy, is a place in which we are likely to get interrupted. Rabbi Moshe Erez Doron compares this to a kettle which sits on a fire. It doesn’t matter how long it sits on the flame, if the water is taken off every so often, it will re-cool and never reach a boiling temperature. Similarly with us, if we allow our precious time for spiritual nourishment to be invaded, we can’t expect to reach the next level of spiritual understanding. The opposite holds true if the kettle sits on a small flame but doesn’t budge. Eventually it will boil.

 

The main idea is to make yourself a learning plan and stick to it. Be realistic about your time and stick to your goal. Maybe it is to learn 30 minutes a day, no matter what -  be consistent and in a short time you will see the dividends. For example: 10 minutes on the Parsha, 10 minutes on Halacha, and 10 minutes on Emuna.

 

3. Begin a Thank You List

 

This is a technique that has been suggested many times over the years by Rabbi Shalom Arush. It is a method of bringing awareness that Hashem is really taking care of you. Our job in this world is to learn Emuna, meaning to get closer to Hashem in both the good times and the seemingly bad. Rabbi Arush suggests making a list of 10 things you are grateful for each day. Those who are married can apply the same concept to their spouses.

 

4. Dedicate One Hour a Day to Personal Prayer

 

The way to truly perfecting ourselves is through prayer. Prayer helps us rise above our natural limitations in our character and brings forth blessing in our lives. Not only that but by correctly self-assessing our actions, a person avoids Judgment from Above. As the Midrash states (Midrash Rabba, Mishpatim 5): “When there is judgment below, then there is no judgement held Above.”

 

Rav Shalom Arush explains in “In Forest Fields” chapter seven that Rosh HaShanah is the main Day of Judgement, determining life and death, livelihood, and other broad issues. Yet, the specifics of each day and each hour- whether good or otherwise- depends on the judgement rendered on a specific day, at that very hour, according to one’s deeds. In addition, coming back to Hashem through prayer can change both what has been decreed on Rosh HaShana and all the daily and hourly rulings of the Heavenly courts. Rabbi Nachman of Breslev also promises that one who dedicates 60 minutes a day to personal prayer and improvement will not leave this world without completely achieving his soul correction! (Highly Recommended to read: In Forest Fields)

 

5. Spread Emuna

 

Forget about the blessing you will receive financially in this world for helping spread Emuna to those who so desperately need it. You will be cancelling harsh heavenly decrees set out for the Jewish People. Rabbi Arush has repeated this time and again -  each CD and book that is shared cancels an enemy missile. Go up to IDF soldiers and share Emuna books, go to the elderly in old age homes and spread Emuna CDs. As a true student of Rav Shalom, you will have immense joy from sharing these same teachings which have brought you so much success in life.

 

Have a wonderful and blessed happy New year!





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