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LIFE IN THE FAST LANE

by Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

We have just completed the most joyous and exciting season of the Jewish calendar. Beginning with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and climaxing with Sukkot and Simchat Torah, this was our z’man simchateinu the time of our rejoicing. So now what? Is it over? Do we return to our 9 to 5 routines, totally unaffected by the events of the past month?

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We have just completed the most joyous and exciting season of the Jewish calendar. Beginning with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and climaxing with Sukkot and Simchat Torah, this was our z’man simchateinu the time of our rejoicing. So now what? Is it over? Do we return to our 9 to 5 routines, totally unaffected by the events of the past month?

The liturgy of our prayer service declares a resounding "no". In the festival prayers, an interesting Hebrew term is used in our request that Hashem bless us on the holiday: "Vehasi’enu et birkat mo’adecha," literally meaning, "let us carry the blessings of this holiday." Our holidays are not once a year commemorations of events long ago, and they are not simply big events around which we rally together and get excited. Rather, every holiday is a station of specific blessings which we are intended to take with us for the rest of the year. That is, we are to "carry" the blessings of the holiday with us. We are to be recharged for the year with that specific influence. We have just gone through an uplifting spiritual and emotional experience of the Days of Awe and Sukkot. This was the weigh-station of the year specifically designated for joy "z’man simchateinu."

Now our goal and mission is to take this inner joy and spiritual simcha (happiness) and implant it in everything we do throughout the year. Our prayers, execution of mitzvot, and Torah learning should be infused with a new excitement and inner happiness. Our interrelationships with the people around us should be reflected in a positive attitude. Our lives should be filled with feelings of simcha at the privilege of being involved in the Jewish community. Let us not speed past this time of joy without incorporating its lessons into our lives.

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Rabbi Dov Ber Weisman writes from Atlanta.

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