Weekly Sidra: Nitzavim (Standing ones)
Torah Portion: Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20
Haftorah: Yeshayahu / Isaiah 61:10-63:9
As the high holidays approach so many thoughts swirl through my head. I have to prepare food for Rosh Hashanah, there will be fasting on Yom Kippur and a Sukkah still needs to be built. All this while having to juggle family, work and daily living activities. It is a wonder on some days that I can even get out of bed.
In this wacky world it is easy to be distracted by everything going on around us. The Haftarah this week reminds us to keep our focus on Hashem and that He gives us the victory.
“I greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My whole being exults in my God.
For He has clothed me with garments of triumph,
Wrapped me in a robe of victory” (Isaiah 61:10a)
I was reminded this week of the importance of prayer, especially the intensive prayer of Hitbodedut, which refers to an unstructured, spontaneous and individualized form of prayer and meditation. Spending time talking with Hashem is vital to achieve a deeper sense of who we are and our relationship to Hashem.
It is also important to constantly be meditating on Torah and striving to perform His mitzvot with proper intention of the heart or Kavanah. The more we pray and seek Hashem the greater our focus becomes to do His will. It is very cyclical we love Hashem so we perform His commandments; we perform His commandments because we love Him. Same with prayer, the more we pray the more we are inspired to do His commandments.
So the next time you are down and out remember that Hashem loves you and cares for you. Hashem gives you the strength to stand and will make you victorious through life’s storms.