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Real Talk: Would you buy this? - Chayei Sarah

Lately, I have been thinking about davening and its personal significance in my life. I've come to realize that davening is deeply subjective and is not a one-size-fits-all practice. This means that each person will interact with it on a different level, and that is okay. A close friend and I recently started learning or discussing davening from the siddur. It's fascinating how words I have recited for most of my life can take on new dimensions when we sit with the emotions, feelings, thoughts, and deeper meanings behind them. This process has allowed me to build an authentic connection with many prayers that once felt routine.

In this week's parsha, we encounter Eliezer and his journey to find a wife for Yitzchak. The posuk tells us that when Eliezer davened by the well, Hashem had already answered him as the words left his mouth. The rarity of such an occurrence is highlighted in Midrash Rabbah, indicating the depth of Eliezer's commitment to Avrohom. Despite challenges and temptations to settle for less, Eliezer persisted in his mission, passionately davening on Avrohom's behalf, and Hashem responded.

In a conversation that I had this week, I brought up an interesting point about authenticity in pursuit of livelihood. I shared my struggle with selling something I don't genuinely believe in. The idea that pretending might eventually make something meaningful was suggested, but I argued that true, lasting meaning comes from a genuine desire and interest. Authenticity, I believe, is the key to a meaningful connection with anything in life.

Consider the analogy: if you say, "I'm pretending to do this, but I'd love to do it one day; I just need to build the meaning," that's a genuine connection in the making. On the other hand, if you say, "I'm doing this, but I don't want to do it and there is no deeper reason for me to do it," who are you fooling? Eventually, the lack of authenticity prevails, and someone, maybe even generations later, will question it or stop doing it. The takeaway here isn't to abandon everything in your life or to stop pretending if you're not feeling it. It's a reminder that living authentically can add depth and meaning to our experiences. So, please join me this week and break down a robotic behavior. Take a moment to think, “Wow, this is how it makes me feel”. I hope that with more meaningful and authentic connections, we can further develop our relationship with Hashem and make this world a better place!

Good Shabbos

All the best

Avroham Y Ross

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