Section: Daas Torah   Category: Rav Shimshon
The Critical First Seconds
Rav Shimshon Pincus says that there is a Segula from Rav Chaim Volozhin that says, as your wake up goes, so goes your day.  If you wake up and the first thought is that today will be day full of torah and mitzvos, Hashem will remove all the barriers and give you the ability to overcome any obstacles along the way.

To this extent, Chazal were Misaken that the first words we utter upon waking up are Modeh Ani.  Instinctively the first thought of a person when opening their eyes in the morning is “I”.  Did I sleep enough?  Do I feel good?  If you wake and worry about the “I”, you are declaring yourself independent.  Beware, that it is a risky proposition in the tricky world out there.  If you are independent you are on your own.  Good Luck!  However if your first thought is not “I am independent” but rather, “I belong to Hashem” you are setting yourself on the right track and you are in very good hands.

The word “Modeh” is also used to mean “Kinyan” belonging.  You are “Modeh” which also means admit, that you belong to Hashem.  The neshama that was just returned to you is not yours.  It is merely on loan.  We say Modeh Ani and admit that it belongs to Hashem and ask Him to help us do our job and take care of it properly.  Suddenly our day is different day.  Our leaning is not for us, it is for Hashem the owner of our soul.  Doing mitzvos is not about me, it’s about fulfilling my task.  Similarly, going to work and trying to earn a living is not really my lone responsibility either.  I am just doing my job and the master businessman in Heaven has responsibility for profitability and success.

Chazal tell us “Sof Maaseh B’Machshava Techila”; the final product was already determined in the beginning.  Just like the way a building will look is already determined before the first bulldozer was called, everything action that gets done is already determined before the action starts.  The “Maaseh”; deed, follows a script written by the “Machshava”; the plan.  

Try spending a few seconds concentrating on Modeh Ani.  It will help you wake up with a blast and set the stage for a great day!  (See Nefesh Shimshon: Siddur HaTefila – Modeh Ani)

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