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Uh-Oh- Elul Is Here!

It's hard to believe that Elul is here. That means less than a month to ready myself for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I have so much to do. I need to review the pertinent halachot (laws) and tefillot (liturgy) to get myself into the mood for this awesome season. In a few weeks, we will begin to recite Selichot (penitential prayers) further reminding me Who is really in charge. So much to do, and so little time. Furthermore, regardless of how much I actually accomplish, the Jewish calendar will not wait for me!
The High Holidays are all about recognizing that Hashem is our King. We are not in control of events. We are only in control of how much we try to get things done. The problem that I face is while I say this, I'm not sure that I'm 100% convinced. After all, if I was totally convinced, I would simply learn the Torah all day and rely upon Hashem to take care of my needs. But bottom line is that I don't. I went to school, got my degrees, found a job, made my investments and listened to financial advisers as to how to make money. Some things worked, others didn't. All the while, I felt that I was in control of my future. Sure, I invoked Hashem's name, but there was always a part of me that felt, "I need to take care of things or it won't happen." It was only when I really began to delve into Mussar, with books like Duties of the Heart, Palm Tree Of Devorah, and 2 Minutes to Bitachon, just to name a few, that I really began to pull all the philosophies together. In the final analysis, while I am in control of the effort expended, I need to recognize/know that the result is totally in Hashem's power. And that is the message of the holiday season.
So now, I can look forward to the upcoming holidays and all the pomp and circumstance that they bring. It will help me to further my understanding and acceptance that Hashem is in control of outcomes. It will aid me in recognizing Hashem is the True King.

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