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Parasha Insights

By Rabbi Menachem M. Junik

“Re’eh Nasati Lifneichem Hayom” – with the Possuk, Hashem sets out the roadmap and life mission of every single Jew.

Today, Shabbos Parshas Re’eh coincides with Rosh Chodesh Elul. The beginning of the period marking the time to prepare for Rosh Hashono and the new year. The time for Teshuva and for taking stock of the past year is upon us.

Our Rabbi’s teach us that there is a special energy infusing this time – the energy of the Yud Gimmel Midot Harachamim, giving us the opportunity to renew our dedication to Hakadosh Boruch Hu. Yet, although there is this special energy, it still remains “weekday”, and is not marked in any special or unique way – as is for example, Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi – the Baal Hatanya, explains this phenomenon using an analogy whereby the King is in the field, and beckons out for all those who wish to have a word with him, to come near where he will greet them with a smile and listen to what the commonfolk have to say. As long as the king is in his palace, there are rules and regulations, protocols and moral standards, that must be upkept before entering into his most private chambers.  This takes much preparation and is marked in a very unique way.

When the king is outside, amongst the commoners, however, everyone has the ability to drop whatever they are doing, in midst of their work, and take a personal moment with the king – no preparation needed, no special clothes, no guards or protocol – the king’s ears are ready and available for whatever you have to say. There is only one condition, one must be willing to take notice that the king is here and is worth taking a few moments off of work to go and reach out to the king.

The same is true regarding Chodesh Elul. It is not a Yom Tov, or a Shabbos; there is no special way to prepare or to act, no special clothes to don. The king – Hashem Yisborach, comes outside, to meet us on our turf, in our workplace and makes Himself available to us. If only we took the time and sensitivity to notice that He is right here, all we need to do is walk up and take a few moments to connect, to refocus, and rededicate ourselves for the coming year.

This moment is encapsulated by the first possuk in our Parsha – Re’eh – it is our job to see that Hashem Himself is present right before us. Hashem says “I am here, I am giving brochos to you and within each one of you”. “Kol Hanosen Bayin Yafa Nosen” says Chazal – when Hashem gives, He gives in the fullest sense. Hashem gives Himself to each Yid, He gives the opportunity for each individual to connect with Him, wherever the Yid may be, and whatever he may be involved in.

Let us take advantage of this special time to unite together and refocus, rededicate ourselves to Hashem, our father and our king, and let us follow Him back into the Palace, where He holds each one of us so tight in his most private chambers.

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