A Sacred Time – Tishrei #4
The tribe associated with the month of Tishrei is Efraim. Reb Nosson, z”l, explains that the name Efraim means to be fruitful or multiply. The deepest kind of fruitfulness is in focusing on one’s good points so that they truly shine, and then they spark even more positive growth. Even the smallest good point forges an eternal connection with G-d.
During the silent prayer of the Amidah, we describe G-d as “Koneh hakol”—literally, “The One who acquires everything.” This doesn’t seem, at first glance, to be any real sort of praise of G-d. Rav Gedaliah Koenig, z”l, would explain that this means that G-d accepts and elevates every single positive point. Any good point, no matter how small is immediately acquired by G-d, like a merchant who buys up bit of quality mechandise that he can find.
When we focus on the positive in our life, our spirit begins to flourish and we’re free to acquire more good. It is especially easy to be positive during a month with so many beautiful mitzvot to fulfill. Our sages explain that each of the mitzvot are pathways of connection with G-d, and out of love for us, we were provided with an abundance of them. Ideally, we would fulfill every mitzvah that we possibly can. But it’s essential to realize that even one mitzvah fulfilled in a lifetime is enough to make a life worthwhile. Lost mitzvah opportunities are causes for genuine regret; even so, we can never lose sight of the infinite greatness of every bit of good.
Master of the world. Help me see the positive in myself and others and judge myself favorably. Help me know that this is the surest path to spiritual fulfillment and growth.