Story for Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashana (thanks to Melinda Mindy Ribner)

Posted on August 31, 2008


The Maggid of Mezerith, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov, needed someone to blow the shofar for Rosh Hashanah. Many people wanted the honor of this mitzvah, so a time was set aside for auditioning. In preparation for the audition, the men went to the mikvah, studied kabbalah, fasted and gave charity. The Maggid was present for the auditions to select the person. Each person had an opportunity to blow the shofar and share with the Maggid what he was thinking about when he blew. Each blowing was more beautiful than the next. When each man shared the complex and intricate kabbalistic intentions that were in his mind at the time, it was impressive.

Then Moshe, the water carrier blew the shofar. When asked what he was thinking about when he blew, he confessed, “I do not know kabbalah, so I did not have any lofty intention. I am ashamed to tell you, but when I blew the shofar, I was crying to God. I have four daughters who need to be married. I need a shidduch for each of them and money to pay for the dowry and wedding. I am a simple water carrier. Please God help me, I can’t do it without You.”

The Maggid selected Moshe, the water carrier, to blow the shofar for his congregation declaring that the prayers of a a sincere and broken heart open the gates of heaven. In the month of Elul, we need to remember that is our cries, our sincere prayers, our tears that are precious to God. Let’s be real with ourselves,with others and with God by getting to the essence of what life is all about: What do we truly need and want. It is said that God is very close to us during this month.

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