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FILL `ER UP

by Benyamin Cohen    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

Many times when we are at a gas station, one hears the phrase, "Fill `er up". Relatively speaking, filling up a tank with gasoline is a fairly easy task.

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Many times when we are at a gas station, one hears the phrase, "Fill `er up". Relatively speaking, filling up a tank with gasoline is a fairly easy task. We really take it for granted. But just think for a moment how great it would be if we could fill our religious tanks by just saying, "Fill `er up".

Take a look at it this way. Everyday we are faced with many challenges, some more difficult than others. We use our spiritual facilities to respond to those challenges that are presented to us. In order to remain alert and properly adjusted, we draw on our mental batteries. As Dr. I. Nathan Bamberger so eloquently explains in his book, Timely Torah Twinkles, "Our ethical spark plugs have to be charged sometimes and our spiritual motor needs a real tune-up every so often."

In this week's Torah portion it says, "And he sent Judah before him" (Gen. 46:28). The verse is referring to Jacob who, before descending into Egypt, sent Judah ahead. Many Biblical commentators explain this passage by saying that Jacob wanted Judah to set up a house of Torah study in this new foreign country where they were going to settle. Jacob wanted to make sure this was attended to before he set out on his journey to Egypt to reunite with Joseph. He wanted to insure that he could get spiritual nourishment to combat any foreign ideologies challenging his beliefs. He needed to build a house of study -- a spiritual filling station -- where he and his family could recharge themselves so that they could carry on the traditions of their forefathers.

Each one of us has our own divine filling station open twenty-four hours a day. Every time we pray to Hashem, in essence we're filling up our tank, enabling us to face the challenges which we encounter on a daily basis. To fill up with High Octane Super Unleaded, just concentrate more while praying and try to understand the words which you're saying. Prayer can become a rejuvinating experience. Just remember: when the spiritual tank is low, "Fill `er up."

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Benyamin Cohen, a native Atlantan, is currently a sophomore at Yeshiva University in New York.

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