The Bike King

Shalom Aleichem!

Yesterday, Tzipah went on a culinary adventure, and wrote about it for fun. Check it out: How to Make Rugelach.

Mazel tov to Avi & Tracy Lloyd on the birth of a baby girl!

Mazel tov to Rabbi Moshe Chaim & Nechama Dina Dubrowski on the bar mitzvah of their son, Shmuel!

Mazel tov to Rabbi Yehudah Blesofsky on his engagement to Mrs. Esty Kozlovsky!

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Many of you know that I am an avid cyclist. While I may not have as much free time to ride as I would like, I try to take advantages of pockets in my schedule and hop on the bike.Alley Pond Bike

Yesterday morning, I went on a glorious ride. I explored a new network of trails, and got wonderfully lost. It was great.

And it got me thinking, as cycling usually does. As I rode along a trail in the forest, I couldn’t see what lay ahead. What a great feeling, anticipating what’s around the corner!

The Jewish month of Elul began earlier this week. It is the last month of the year, and heralds our preparations for Rosh Hashana.

New beginnings. What’s around the corner?

There is a Chassidic parable that states that the month of Elul is a time when “the King is in the field.” That is to say, that on a regular day, the King (i.e., G-d) is inaccessible. He sits enthroned in His palace, and only those with privileged entrance can approach Him.

Yet during Elul, the King goes “out to the field.” There the King is accessible to anyone who wishes to approach, and He will receive everyone graciously. Elul is such an auspicious time, that anyone — regardless of what we’ve done or have not done — can “approach the King.”

Yet that Chassidic parable goes even one step further.

Sometimes we intend to do something good — but it just doesn’t happen. Either we get distracted, or discouraged, or… I think we’ve all experienced good intentions that were never manifest.

During the month of Elul, even good intentions count. That is not to say that we are excused from actual positive growth, but rather, the parable emphasizes that even someone who has not yet succeeded will be warmly received by the King.

When we take the time to reflect on the idea that during this time of year, everyone has a unique opportunity to connect, this itself will awaken within us the latent strength we need, enabling us to actually make that connection.

Shabbat Shalom, and may we all be blessed with a sweet new year,