Mitzvahs, shortcuts, life and death

This week a 21 year old boy died on a construction site when half the building collapsed on him. His best friend, also a builder, told us shortcuts were taken. This young life being taken was easily avoidable.

And then I remembered about the start of my week. I too took a shortcut. It was a simple mitzvah I wasn’t careful with. It wasn’t a life or death scenario so I let it slip. Made some excuse like we all do sometimes. We don’t always have clarity about what the consequences of our actions are, especially in spiritual matters. We don’t have buildings collapse on us when we do the wrong thing spiritually. Not often at least. But there are consequences. Just like there is reward and punishment in the physical world, there’s reward and punishment in the spiritual world. It’s just that bit more hidden.

And yet we are instructed to choose life. To choose the straight path at every moment and in every decision. We have that power to choose. By doing mitzahs, all of them, no matter how little we may interpret them as, we connect ourselves to Hashem. That connection is the greatest and ultimite Good we can create in our life. For there cannot be any greater good than the One that is the Source of existance.

On Rosh Hashana we choose to re-crown that eternal Source King again, over the world, and over our inner world. We remember that we don’t have all the answers. By choosing to be a bit more humble and a bit more careful with all our mitzahs we are choosing to bring greater Good into our lives, ensuring not to miss any connection points.

The challenge of Rosh Hashana is to put your list of wants away and just to focus on connection. If we really appreciate what Hashem is and the huge amount of blessing that He can bestow upon us (more than we can ever imagine for ourselves) we would stop making shortcuts. Not only because shortcuts really may lead to death, but more importantly, because they ultimately don’t lead to the greatest life.

May you make the right choices for good and be written and sealed in the book of life.

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