Im Yihyeh (MBD)

September 3, 2021

In my hurry, I neglected to give kudos and congrats to subscriber (and super great guy) Dovid (DJ) W. for correctly guessing last week’s Erev Shabbos song choice! Nice job R’ Dovid!

Baruch Hashem, it has been quite the busy past few days! Besides for the week of weather-related workplace whirlwinds, I was also treated to a full-fledged breakdown…… of my hard drive, I mean. So if you are still waiting for a reply to your music questions, comments or requests, now you know why! That’s right, my trusty computer decided it wouldn’t put up with my long hours any more, and absolutely derailed my schedule in a multitude of malevolent ways – the least of which was the ruined mid-week Selichos post that I had prepared! My apologies to all.

I am pretty much always hyper-aware of Hashem’s Hand in everything that occurs around here, and this week was definitely no different. The computer catastrophe forced me to take a step back and to listen closely to the message that Hashem was obviously sending me. Have I been utilizing my Elul in the most optimal way? Have I worked hard enough to mend my misguided ways? Have I made enough of an effort to plug in to the spiritually-charged essence of Elul and to the days of Selichos? Or have I allowed work and other distractions to stand in the way of making genuine improvements or adjustments? Have I squandered most of the month by letting old habits hinder the advances that I set out to make when Elul first began?

Throughout my life, I have been guilty of letting things wait to the last minute – even when it comes to my own personal growth. And each year around this time, the winds of teshuva eventually grab ahold of me, and a revived spirit of self-reflection and self-transformation inevitably brings me into the days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkos on a tremendous spiritual high. But this year, for one (legitimate?) reason or another, I have somehow let most of Elul go by without making some of my much-needed modifications. I fear that I have let my tendency of being a “last-minute” kind of guy go too far this time, and that now I may be past the point of no return… That was until I took a look at this week’s parsha.

Parshas Netzavim begins where we left off last week. On the final day of his life, Moshe gathered together every member of the Jewish nation and renewed the covenant of Hashem with them. The conditions are seemingly binary: if we follow the rules as outlined in the Torah, then incredible bounty and protection will envelope us. However, if we deviate from the Torah, then there will be harsh punishment and eventual exile. But then, the rest of the parsha is filled with allusions to the mitzvah of teshuva – which just so happens to be the word of the month and the topic at hand.

One such reference is actually a pasuk that we say during Selichos, and that can be found in perek ל, pasuk ד of this week’s parsha:

אִם יִהְיֶה נִדַּחֲךָ בִּקְצֵה הַשָּׁמָיִם מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ הַ’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ

On the surface, the words are a promise of Geulah – the Ingathering of the Exiles that will occur at the end of days. Yet, there is a deeper meaning here. Moshe Rabbeinu is telling us that, today – as we find ourselves standing before Hashem, about to experience the ultimate encounter with the Melech Malchei Hamlachim during the Yomim Noraim – we must know there is no Yid beyond redemption – that there is no such thing as being “hopelessly lost.”

What incredible chizzuk! No matter how far one may have fallen, no matter how far one may have strayed, Hashem will be there to take him back home. When we show Him that we are ready to reset and repair our connection to the Divine, then מִשָּׁם יְקַבֶּצְךָ וּמִשָּׁם יִקָּחֶךָ – Hashem will gather us from there… wherever there happens to be.

Today’s song, Im Yihyeh, was composed and sung by the one and only MBD on his 2010 album entitled Kulam Ahuvim. Through these words and their inherent message, I cannot help but feel that what happened to me and my computer was one giant wakeup call from the One Above. This whole week has been Hashem telling me to repair my broken drive, to fix the internal and external connections that need fixing, and to take advantage of these final precious moments of Elul. I have been told countless times before that it is never too late to start over, and that one is never too distant to return – well, now’s my chance to reset and begin anew… Better late than never, right?

Wishing each and every one of you an invigorating Shabbos, a k’sivah v’chasimah tova and a gut g’bentched yuhr!

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