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Tishrei 8

You search one's innermost recesses and You examine one's motivations and the emotions of the heart (Machzor of Yom Kippur).

Rabbi Eliezer of Kozhnitz visited Rabbi Naftali of Ropschitz and, noting that the curtains of the windows were drawn closed, he said, "There is something I do not understand. If you wish people to be able to look in, why do you draw the curtains? If you do not wish people to look in, what purpose is there for the window?"

Rabbi Naftali was stunned by the question. Rabbi Eliezer smiled and said, "I will tell you what the window is for. There may be someone whom you trust and who you know loves you, and you can then open the curtains and let him look in."

To some degree we are all secretive, and we close the curtains of the windows of our hearts and minds. We may have thoughts and feelings that we would not disclose to anyone. However, we can be comfortable that God knows our innermost secrets, because we are certain that He loves us and we can trust Him.

Our verbal expression of character defects adds nothing to God's knowledge of them, but serves to reinforce our own awareness that we can safely confide in God, and that He will help us in our quest to improve our character.

Today I shall...

open my heart and mind to God, sharing with Him all that I think and feel, and ask Him to help me cleanse myself of improper thoughts and feelings.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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