Saturday, January 5, 2013

Do I Care That I Did Something Wrong?

        Help. I did something bad. I really messed up, I don't know what to do. Do I go over and try to fix it or do I let time do it's thing, and it will be forgotten and I will not be held at fault? If I think about it for a second, yeah I do wanna try to fix it, but if I don't think about it, it can just disappear and I can make it like it never even happened.

       You know what I'm saying? Right, because it happens to you too. There's something sweet in doing something wrong. There's also something sweet in doing something wrong and totally ignoring it. I'm not making this up, R' Asher Freund zt"l used to talk about it. It's a certain toothy grin we get, and it also comes when we're having a bad day sometimes. It makes us not want to try and smile, because deep down, somewhere we don't even know exists in us, it is as sweet as honey to be miserable, and doing something wrong and not fixing it makes us miserable, hence the sweetness of it. So, if the thing I did was to another person, I have a chance as long as I'm alive to go and try and fix it. The person probably won't come to you though, to beg for you to fix what you did; if they do however, that is pretty G-dly. Which leads me to my rambling:

       Hashem wants a relationship from us. He wants it all day, all morning, all afternoon, all night. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants us to believe in Him, He wants us to love Him. He started this relationship with you a long, long time ago, the second you were born. That is when you met. It took time, for you to learn how to walk, to talk, to eat, to think. To be able to relate to Him. Sometimes we think it's a one way relationship, we don't hear back from Him. But then we realize that we woke up this morning, and that coffee was really good, and we have all our things we have, and the weather is nice, and my car is really a cool invention, and I know some awesome people, and my job is great, and yes, even that deadly cigarette which I am trying to get rid of, was just awesome. Ha! I know, things are not all that great, I just only focused on good stuff. There's plenty bad, there's plenty that goes wrong. Coffee doesn't always come out great, sometimes we lose things we have, the weather is horrible, my car doesn't start, people are annoying, my job sucks, and, well I'm out of cigarettes. :) But if I'm reading this right now, I woke up this morning, and that means I have a chance to fix my life. 


      This relationship with Hashem I'm talking about, is the best relationship. You could be anywhere, it could be any time, and you have Him! He gives you great things, He gives you everything! But guess what, sometimes He makes it hard. Sometimes, He feels you're not putting much into the relationship and He lets you know. But how great is that! Imagine being in a relationship with someone, and you wanna make it last forever, you don't want it to ever end, but you know you might make it not work out. Imagine if that person never lets you go, they are always out for your good, for it to work. When you mess up they tell you how to fix it up so that you can stay in it. It's too easy. It's so beautiful. That's Hashem. I know it's a hard concept, because sometimes it's confusing, what, the weather's not good today because I did something bad yesterday? What kind of games are you playing with me Hashem?? So, instead of taking my word for it, you can probably find it in a lot of books with sources, and somewhere in the Torah itself, but I have no clue where, and I don't wanna put sources in due to my ramblings; I wouldn't want to distort any serious facts. But I do know that Hashem sends us messages, all day. And we know that a wise person needs just a whisper, while a foolish person needs some louder noises. But a foolish person is someone who doesn't take the time to learn, so if you're trying, and learning, you're wise. Can you hear that whisper? 

        So, we mess up. Because we're humans and it's natural. Hashem has rachmanus on us, so He gives us a chance to defend ourselves. How do we defend ourselves? There is no defense.  There is nothing we can say to justify what we did wrong. We can try and pacify ourselves, that it wasn't so bad, it could've been worse. But to Hashem there is no defense we can possibly bring. So what can we bring to Hashem? We fix what we did by getting closer to Him. By doing Teshuva. By moving forward. By facing our wrongdoings and not letting them rot in piles all over the country. By caring that we did something wrong. By showing gratitude to Hashem for everything. Through wanting to fix it, wanting to stay in the relationship with Hashem. Teshuva, Teshuva, Teshuva. It's so powerful. Remember Rosh Hashana? Remember the shofar? Remember the feeling? No? Close your eyes, sit down, think back, feel. Try. Let me tell you a story R' Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov shared about the Shofar.
There was once a king who's heart was sad. He went for a walk in the mountains, wearing plain clothes. All of a sudden he heard a beautiful sound coming from the fields. A beautiful melody, each chord struck another piece of his sad heart, making him happy. He followed the sounds until he came upon a shepherd sitting on the grass playing the flute. He asked the shepherd, "who are you playing for?"The shepherd answered, "I play for the king." "Did you ever meet the king?" "No." "Do you know what the king is like?" The shepherd answered, "The king is like a shepherd. I'm a small shepherd, I bring my sheep to the pastures to eat, I care for the, I guide them. The king leads the people, he guides them, he gives them to eat." "I am the king," the king replied. "And I want to reward you for making my heart happy. I'll get someone else to replace you as a shepherd, and you will come to live with me in the royal palace, I will get you golden robes, and all the riches in the world." The shepherd moved in to the palace. One day the Prime Minister of the Royal Palace, pulled the shepherd aside, and said "Tell me, what do you really think about the king? I won't tell anyone." "Really? Off the record? I think he's selfish, I think he is out for himself, I think he doesn't give enough to the people, I think he's cruel in his ways", the unfortunate shepherd replied. The Prime Minister ran to tell the king, of course who told him to call in the shepherd at once. "Shepherd! Look what I gave you! I gave you so much, you should be filled with gratitude, and you go and talk like that about me? In my very own palace? I want you sent to jail, and in three days, you can stand in the court and defend yourself." The day came, and the shepherd stood in court. He said, "my dear king, I have no words to defend myself. I have done wrong to you. There is nothing I can say to justify my wrong deed. All I ask, is that you let me play a melody on my flute for you." The king allowed him to play, and the shepherd began to play the melody he was playing when he first met the king. The king was so moved by the melody, and he said "Your melody has soothed my broken heart, it has made me happy again. I will have mercy on you, and let you stay in the palace."
     That is the sound of the Shofar, says R' Levi Yitzchak. It's a reminder that we care, that we acknowledge, that we want the relationship with Hashem. 

I knew a lot of songs made me further from G-d than closer
I ignored it for a long time, but finally did it
      It doesn't have to be Rosh Hashana, in order to fix our mistakes. If we do something wrong every day, we can fix it every day. The Shofar is the set alarm once a year, but we can make small Shofars every day. We can sing to Hashem, we can talk to Hashem, we can make Hashem happy. When you feel like you did something wrong to another person, ask for forgiveness, try to fix it up if you can. And if you did something wrong to Hashem, go quickly and remind yourself that you still want the relationship. Sometimes, bad things are good because they get us to remember that we want to be close to Hashem, and that we can fix it. But in order to remember that we want to be close to Hashem, we have to remember to remember. So, try and think of the shepherd once in a while, and think of some kind of flute you can play, some kind of melody, that will make Hashem happy, and help us stay in our relationship with Him. Show Him we know we're doing something wrong, we know we can technically just ignore it, but we care, we want to be in a relationship with You, Hashem, we're sorry for doing it, it was definitely wrong, and we won't do it again, we want to stay with You, and here's our little tune to make You happy again. Mazal Tov!
Now every song I listen to makes me think of Hashem


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