Laasos R’tzoinchu (Yingerlich)

September 8, 2022

Today’s post is dedicated to my dear friend and long-time subscriber Elazar M., with wishes for a safe and successful journey ahead. Leich L’shalom R’ Elazar – I look forward to seeing you again very soon.

Since the moment the month began, many different tunes have been swirling around my mind – soundtracks of teshuvah and inspiration accompanying my thoughts and prayers as I trepidatiously make my way towards the Days of Awe. Some fast, some slow. Some more upbeat and cheery, and others more sobering and soulful. But all in all, they have been songs of hopeful desire to come close to The King of Kings as He sits in the field, making Himself available to those who seek to do His will.

The commentaries on tefillah ask: inasmuch as Hashem knows our innermost thoughts, why do we have to speak our prayers? Why is it not enough to merely meditate on them?

One of the reasons given is that the unique feature that distinguishes us from other living things is the ability to communicate by speech. Being that this ability characterizes our humanity, we mustn’t take lightly our responsibility to use this capacity to connect to our Creator – to remind ourselves of our mission here on earth.

During these opportune days of Elul, one of the first steps that I have been taking on my personal road to improvement has been verbalizing my spiritual goals. What normally might remain unsaid this time of year – resolutions, commitments of improvements and the like – I have made it my business to articulate for myself and Hashem to hear.

Of course Hashem knows what I want. He knows that more than anything else, I want to loyally follow in His ways. However, to say it out loud – to hear myself voice this desire – lifts me up and pushes me forward in a way that thinking about it cannot. It pushes me to what I see as the next step in my personal pathway, and that is to actualize and physically apply myself to my avodas Hashem that I am truly capable of.

Tefillah teaches us that just as it’s not enough to meditate on gratitude, remorse or belief, likewise it is not enough only to think about what we want to do. We must also hear ourselves pronounce these determinations as well. Dovid HaMelech understood this and wisely proclaimed, לעשות רצונך אלוקי חפצתי (Tehillim 40:9). Hashem, I desire to do Your will. Whatever You say, whatever You ask of me, that’s all I want to do. Please help me accomplish my sacred task – Hashem, please allow me to fulfil Your will.

Lately, it has been these words that have permeated my every intention, and it is my sincere hope that they help lead me toward the growth and aliyah that I wish to achieve.

Laasos R’tzoinchu was composed by the highly-hailed songwriter Hershy Weinberger, and is sung by the remarkable Yingerlich Boys Choir on their follow-up hit album Volume 2 in 2020. There is something so powerful about hearing the sweet, pure voices of children earnestly calling out, expressing out loud what is sometimes left only in our hearts and minds alone. We know now that it is imperative that we join in and do the same.

Wishing you an increasingly inspirational Chodesh Elul

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