13 Sivan 5779 / Sunday, June 16, 2019 | Torah Reading: Shelach Lecho
 
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Breslev Judaism Society Family Spirituality and Faith Torah Portion Holidays and Fast Days
   Pesach     Holocaust Day     Yom HaZikaron     Sefirat HaOmer and Lag B’Omer             
 
  More  
 
 
 
Tu B'Shvat and Shovevim  
 
HomeHolidays and Fast DaysTu B'Shvat and ShovevimTakeoff Power
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
            
 

Takeoff Power    

Takeoff Power



During a lecture in Ashdod for newly observant Israelis, I asked the participants to tell me the hardest things they ever did. Their answers had an amazing common denominator…

 



During a lecture in Ashdod for newly observant Israelis, I asked the participants to tell me the hardest things they ever did. The answers were varied, but they had an amazing common denominator. Look at this sample of some of the answers and think about the pattern:

 

1. Man – the first day I ever went out in public wearing a kippa

 

2. Woman – the first day I ever covered my hair in public

 

3. Man – basic training in the IDF

 

4. Woman – her first year in university

 

5. Man – my first Shabbat without a cigarette

 

6. Woman – my first Shabbat without getting in my car

 

7. Man and Woman (multiple answers) – our first year of marriage

 

8. Woman – my first childbirth

 

9. Man – the day he decided to quit substance abuse

 

10. Woman – the first day she wore a skirt (until recently, she didn't have a single one in her closet).

 

Apparently, there are some weird responses here. The young man who answered #3 had been in the Second Lebanon War and in one of the Gaza Wars, both messy and scary. I asked him how the difficulty of basic training was worse than the wars or the advanced infantry training he had received. It's a known fact in the IDF that each course as one moves up the ranks just gets tougher. Man #3 answered that the change from the freedom of a teenager to the discipline of a combat soldier was jolting for him. At that point, many of the other participants – both men and women who were IDF veterans – agreed with him.

 

The common denominator of all the above responses is that they are all connected with new beginnings.

 

New beginnings are tough – period. Rebbe Nachman says so. "New beginnings are tough, for one is called upon to go from opposite to opposite" (Likutei Moharan I:62). But, the beginning is the key to growth. The initial impetus sets the tone.

 

The physical world teaches us much about the spiritual world, for the same principles apply. Newton's laws of motion teach us that it takes far greater power to initially move a static object than it does to maintain the acceleration of an object already in movement. For example, on an inner-city domestic flight, an airliner's takeoff and initial climb will utilize as much as 25% of the fuel expended during the entire flight. The takeoff and initial climb require much greater power than flying at cruising altitude does.

 

Look at the spiritual takeoff of a newly observant individual or even a person who is committing to strengthen his or her observance.

 

The new BT (baal teshuva) that wears a kippa to work for the first time thinks that it is burning a hole in his skull. It takes guts to walk out of his front door for the first time with wearing that kippa.

 

The attractive young lady with the flowing Farah Fawcett curls that everyone on the Tel-Aviv University campus used to ooh and aw about now shows up to the office in a silk scarf (or modest wig) and a skirt that's wider and longer than she ever wore. What's more, her elbows are covered and her blouse is buttoned up to her collarbone. This young lady deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor for that first day in the line of fire of all the looks, comments and questions she gets. What courage – and she didn't back down!

 

A man in this day and age who decides to guard his eyes will join the above-mentioned Ms. Farah Fawcett Feinberg in the Honor Guard. The first day of guarding your eyes could probably qualify for the most difficult test of all: the guy who is guarding his eyes for the very first time thinks that the whole world is gawking at him, making fun of him and calling him a prude.

 

No, the new beginning is not easy.

 

But guess what – that's what the Shovevim Weeks are all about.

This week begins the period of "Shovevim", the 6-week period named as an acronym for the six Torah portions from the weeks of Shmot, Vaera, Bo, Beshalach, Yitro and Mishpatim. The Shovevim period is a most conducive time for enhancing personal holiness. Not only does Hashem give us extra assistance in getting close to Him, He pays premium.

 

The secret of Shovevim is that we simply have to express our desire and take the first step in moving the spiritually inanimate object. Hashem does all the rest, for He promises, "Open a pin-hole size opening for me, and I'll open for you an opening big enough for a 737." It isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

 

 

* * *

We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal Lazer Beams.





New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rabbi Lazer Brody
   Read more about Tu B'Shvat and Shovevim




Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
Return, Mischievous Children               Tu B'Shvat: Obsolete?               Tu B'Shvat - Preparing for the New Year
 
 Return, Mischievous Children  Tu B'Shvat: Obsolete?  Tu B'Shvat - Preparing for the New Year


  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
  
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
  •  
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar