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Monday Aug 31
Today is the eleventh day of Elul!
Yesterday I had the privilege to attend yet another COVID wedding, b”h!  I had the chance to share the following idea with the chatan and kallah:  In last week’s parasha one of the many (74!) mitvzot mentioned is “maakeh,” making a guardrail around your roof.  The pasuk says “when you build a new home, make a guardrail around your roof.”  The commentators wonder why the Torah specifies a “new home” when the mitzvah of the guardrail applies equally to an old home.  The Netziv (R Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, 1816-1893) explains that the Torah is teaching us something important about new beginnings:  When you start a new venture or journey or new home, you must begin in the right way.  You must begin with a mitzvah, with kedusha (sanctity), with care and concern for others well-being.  If you do, then Hashem will help to fill the rest of the journey and the entire home with blessing.  This is not just a lesson for a chatan and kallah, but for all of us especially in Elul.  We must begin the new year of 5781 that will, iy”h, be upon us soon in the right way, filling it with good choices, with sanctity, with the right values and perspective.  If we can do that then maybe Hashem will help to bless the rest of our year and fill it with maximal goodness.  Now is the time to prepare for the new beginning that awaits us.   May it be an awesome one!

Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780