Sunday, September 05, 2004

It's ELUL!!

I still have 3 1/2 chapters left to go before I'm finished my reading for tonight (History classes are just lovely...), but I stopped to do my long-distance chavrusa and had to share an insight.
There's a story in the Gemara about two Rabanim that were talking and someone came up to them and asked them a question:
"My workers are working for me in the Shemita (7th Year-when the Land rests) and taking olives from the trees as payment. Is that allowed?"
When the Rabbis answered him in the negative, he turned and walked away immediatly, prompting R' Elazar Ben R' Tzadok to comment:
"I have lived in this land for 40 years and never saw a man with such fear of sin as this man."
The man later returned to them and asked them what to do in his specific situation, they gave him advice, and the matter was done.
What was so amazing? The man heard a Psak (rabbinical ruling), and realized he was doing something wrong. He didn't pause for a minute to see where he should progress from there-he just ran home to make sure that he wasn't sinning for an extra second!!
The point of the Michtav Me'eleyahu (who brings this down) is to show how one should fix his ways on Erev Rosh Hashana (and always!). As soon as you realize you're doing something wrong-don't waste an extra second!! Go and correct the chait, and then progress from can only move up!!
May we all have the Hashgacha and inspiration (we DO have it-it's just about seeing it..) to do the same. Amain.

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