Weekly Thought Torah Portion:

Chodesh Elul Message

from Rabbi Marlow

I extend my heartfelt wishes and sincerest blessings to each individual and to the community as a vibrant whole: Kesivah veChasimah Tovah leShanah Tovah uMesukah – May we all be inscribed in the book of life and abundant revealed goodness for the entire coming year!

As we all know, Elul and Tishrei is a time to relax and go easy, especially in Miami. As the first shofar blasts sound the alert, we relax our relentless and sometimes overwhelming mundane pursuits and go easy on mindless distractions in order to immerse ourselves in the refreshing waters of Torah study and upgrade our pursuit of mitzvos and good deeds – all in preparation for the approaching days of awe and inspiration.

It is a time-honored custom to have our tefillin and mezuzos examined for deficiencies during Elul, performing the repairs necessary to allow these holy items to be used to their full potential. At the same time, we must recognize that maintaining that which is placed on our heads, wrapped on our biceps, and affixed to the doorposts of our homes is actually symptomatic of the broader Elul approach, namely, to carefully review what goes on within our minds, the activities we perform, and the conduct of our households.

We apply ourselves with greater awareness to our daily prayers, make greater efforts to attend shi’urim, double and triple our tzedakah and good deeds, and take mature steps up the ladder of chassidishkeit and yiras shamayim. At the same time, we cannot ignore those around us – our own families, neighbors, and acquaintances. Let them be swept up in our enthusiastic and joyful Elul rebound! There is nothing more personally motivating than actively inspiring others along the path that leads from the fields of Elul to the throne room of Rosh Hashanah and Hashem’s complete embrace on Yom Kippur.

We must be especially mindful of our own children, who in today’s world require profound personal and positive attention if they are to be infused with healthy spiritual habits that will fortify them for a lifetime.

I extent my sincerest wishes for success in these most praiseworthy efforts!

May Hashem shower us all with His abundant blessings of robust health and healing, plentiful parnasah, success in chinuch, and personal advancement in all our endeavors, material and spiritual!

Above all, may we speedily merit the true and complete geulah of our people and the entire world, ushering in the long awaited era in which “everything will know that You made it, and every creature will understand that You created it, and all that breathes will proclaim, ‘Hashem, the G‑d of the Jewish people, is King and His dominion rules over everything!’”

Kesivah veChasimah Tovah leShanah Tovah uMesukah!

Rabbi Yosef Y. Marlow