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footprints in the sand

You can Change! Focusing on Free Will

Week 3, Lesson 18: September 15 / Elul 24

We were introduced to Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler two days ago. Refer back to lesson 16 to read his brief biography. Here he interprets the “books” that are opened on Rosh Hashanah:

What a person wants — that’s what he/she is. “The books of the living and the dead” [in which people are inscribed according to their deeds] which God scrutinizes on Rosh Hashanah refer to the spiritually living and the spiritually dead. A person who wants worthless things, “dead” things, is, in a deeper sense, dead himself. Only one who desires the things of the spirit is truly alive. That which belongs to the spirit is real. (Strive for Truth!, vol. 4, p.87)

Do you agree that “Only one who desires the things of the spirit is truly alive?” Why or why not?

Your practice for this week is to form and articulate kavvanot for yourself, and to direct your words and deeds in line with those conscious intentions. Continue with your intention for the week to exercise your free will in a situation that challenges you. For today, add the intention to appreciate and to experience the pleasure of the spiritual in whatever way you understand that to mean. Journal your insights.

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Today’s learning is sponsored by Monica Fuchs in memory of her dear father, Fritz Fuchs z"l, who exemplified the middot of devotion, honesty and care for those in need. He was a businessman and deeply cared for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. May his memory be for a blessing.

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