Make The Sacrifice

4 years ago bbursk 0

This Rosh Hashana is one I will never forget. I spent the holiday with Chabad in South Manchester. It began like any other Rosh Hashana; we indulged in a ridiculous amount of apples and honey, had a super long shul service. By the end of the first day of davening, we were all exhausted and ready for a lovely, large meal.

As the conversations started to flow and food found its way into our stomachs, a friend of mine confessed that he was planning on heading to school the next day. Although he wanted to continue celebrating Rosh Hashana, he felt that he did not have a choice. He and I discussed how he felt that he simply could not sacrifice another day of school. Although I wasn’t sure that I should, I decided to try and convince him to stay and spend the following day of Rosh Hashana with us.

At first, he wasn’t willing to listen. I understood him; school is important to all of us, and it didn’t feel smart to skip another day. As the conversation continued, and as more people got involved, one person at the table shared something that not only reached my friend, but also touched me. He said: “If you make a sacrifice for Hashem, than he will do something in return for you? If you don’t make the initial effort how can you expect much in return the way of reward?” If we want Hashem to bless us, we have to be willing to make the effort and meet Him halfway. At the end of the day, my friend decided to continue spending Rosh Hashana with us. And he thanked us all for convincing him as it was his best one to date.

hjw

This story taught me an incredible lesson, not just about willpower, but also in relation to the upcoming holiday of Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur we do exactly what my friend decided to do—make a ‘sacrifice’ or give something up for Hashem. On Yom Kippur, we ‘sacrifice’ eating and drinking to spend the day fasting and davening. We take the time to thank Hashem for all that he does for us on a daily basis, and also asking for all of the things we need in the year to come.  If you think about it, it’s not really a sacrifice, is it? What we’re really doing by giving up all of these things is opening a channel to come closer to Hashem.

It is written:  “Sacrifice even the tip of your finger nail for G-d and he will give you the whole world.”

May we all have an easy fast and come closer this Yom Kippur and in turn merit a sweet year ahead,

Ben Bursk