Elul 7
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Elul 7

Throw your burden upon God (Psalms 55:23).

Imagine driving a car along the road and suddenly realizing that the brakes have been detached from the brake pedal and the wheels from the steering wheel. In panic, you stamp on the pedal and turn the steering wheel frantically, all to no avail. With the car out of control, your best chance may be to open the door and jump out. However, if you haven't realized that in fact you have lost control, you still try to maintain it, and your life is in danger.

While such dramatic happenings fortunately do not occur every day, we should realize we actually do not have control over many things in life. Trying to exert control where no control is possible is worse than futile, for just as in the above example, it precludes taking whatever other action may be possible.

Many people perform an action that they consider to be proper and accompany it with a prayer for success; others consider prayer only as a last resort. God listens to everyone's prayer, regardless of the circumstances in which it is said. However, even those who use prayer as a last resort should realize when it is indeed a last resort, i.e. when they can do no more, because the conditions are beyond their control. This realization may help them avoid futile behavior.

We may not like to face reality, but denying it is hazardous.

Today I shall...

realize that many things I think I can control may actually be beyond my control, and I must turn them over to God.

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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