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Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
A Good Pair Of Glasses For Birchas HaChamah

I am not all that astronomically inclined but that's all you hear about nowadays in every shape and form.  Last week in front of my Shul they were selling Birchas HaChama sun glasses.  What will they think of next?  Unfortunately I've been having having trouble making order of all the charts, diagrams, and explanations and it's just not moving me as much as it seems it should for a once in 28 year event.  So I've been doing a lot of asking around but not getting any clear answers.

I may be right and I may be far off the mark, but I think I found something significant for a person of my limited understanding to approach the big day with.  Our lives are a journey during which must do Hashem's will and grow from rank to rank.  Like every journey in order to get to where are going we must constantly evaluate our direction to make sure we are on course. We need to check our progress on the map, see how far we've come and how much more we need to travel.  We must constantly do a Cheshbon HaNefesh because if we are slightly off course and moving fast, we will end up far from our destination.

There is opportunity for Cheshbon HaNefesh at almost every kind of interval.  Before going to sleep at night and refreshing our Neshama, we review the days events.  On Erev Shabbos before greeting the Shechina we review our week and tweak our behavior.  Every month we have a Yom Kippur Katan and Rosh Chodesh to examine our previous month and prepare for the next.  Once a year, as we await judgement, we replay the year in our minds and beg forgiveness for all wrongdoing.  Depending on the length of the interval we look at different aspects of our life.  The longer the review the less resolution we use the and we look at the bigger picture.

28 years! That is a long time.  That is basically our entire memorable and relevant life.  It is slice of life large enough to encompass every experience and every situation we can possibly think of.  In Koheles (3:2-8) Shlomo HaMelech tells us that there is time for everything.  Eis Laledes, Eis LaMus...  Amazingly yesterday while reading a sefer I happened to come across the mention (not in connection to Birchas HaChama) that it says Eis 28 times.  Maybe the 28 years corresponds to every possible period a person can go through in his life. For me it was a real wake up call for a Cheshbon HaNefesh.

Where was I 28 years ago?  Where did I expect to be today?  Where am I today?  What major life altering decisions did I face during this time?  Did I make the right choices?  Where would I be had I chosen otherwise?  That is a lot of thinking to do.  Surely there are regrets over choices for lost opportunities that I will mourn forever.  Then there is thankfulness for some of the wrong decisions that through Siyata Dishmaya I was spared from making.  There are also choices that I am very proud of and I don't know where I'd be today if I didn't take that stand.  Life is so colorful and so complex.  We do need a good pair of glasses, but not the ones they were selling in Shul.  We need a pair of glasses that will show an accurate image of ourself.

Then we need use this review to plan for the future and move forward.  We need to reset our internal compass and get back on track.  The sun is our shining example.  It made a long and arduous journey to finally make it back to its original position for the first time in 28 years.  All the while, everyday without fail it rose right on time and shed light on the world with its beautiful rays.  Not always was it able to give off its full capacity as sometimes clouds blocked it from making an impact.  But the sun never asked any questions and just came right back again the next day.

We have a lot to learn from the sun.  Hashem has given us fantastic light brighter than the sun, and has asked us to rise every morning and shine our light on the world.  We need to shine through all 28 "times" even though some are easier to shine in than others.  If we strive to do that for the next 28 years we will surely warrant a commotion as great as the one coming up next week. "V'Chafra HaLevana U'Vosha HaChama Ki Molach Hashem Tzevakos B'Har Tzion U'V'Yerushalayim", then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, for Hashem Tzevakos will reign in Har Tzion and in Yerushalayim (Yeshaya 24:23).  We will be the pride and joy of creation and the sun will be benching us.  And you can be sure it will need a strong pair of sunglasses!

RELATED ARTICLES:Birchas HaChamah  Cheshbon HaNefesh  Chovos HaLevavos  Koheles

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