The "morning after" feeling!


Dear Friends,   

Do you ever wake up with that "morning after" feeling?  I suppose it depends on what you did the night before! 

Do you ever get all excited about something, make some serious commitments and then the next morning the feeling is all gone? So what do we do?

We just try to forget about it.

Sometimes it could follow a terribly mistaken decision and we're left with a sick feeling. At other times, it's a far too idealistic aspiration that we grapple with.  Either way, forgetting about it seems like the best solution — or is it just the easiest solution? 

Shavuot is a time of commitment, and what an amazing Shavuot party we had at Chabad Naples where 150 people met for the celebration. But the incredible part was when the children came in:  boys and girls of all ages surrounded the entire dais, holding onto the Torah, and I was in the middle reading the ten commandments. That was powerful for me. You know, it says that when you are in need of a prayer for healing of an illness, turn to the children to pray because their prayers go straight to heaven. I will tell you, that I felt it then, being surrounded by that pure energy of the children and making a prayer afterwards with them was very special. 

We had a great time, we committed to fulfilling the 10 commandments - - and as you know, the ten commandments ain't no multiple choice!  


So I was thinking — and then just yesterday we finished celebrating the anniversary of our marriage to G‑d at Mount Sinai. The reception was exquisite, the dinner was delicious and the atmosphere was as perfect as ever. As we heard the words of the Ten Commandments, and by extension the entire Torah being read, our commitment to those "Vows" were renewed with ever stronger passion and we all hoped that the year ahead would bring a stronger and more meaningful relationship with our Spouse in Heaven above. 

And then there's the morning after. 

When we wake up and suddenly the world doesn't seem as clear and perfect and we're not so sure any more about those resolutions of yesterday - - we may not feel so confident in our ability to succeed and we may want to abort that decision to reach higher. 

And this is what Judiasm is all about:  It's about the next morning. It's not what happened in the synagogue, it's what happens right afterwards and how we can apply what we have learned to our daily lives, to make them better, more worthwhile, and while we're at it, to improve ourselves.   Just think about all those resolution we constantly make and break — - we all do it, promising to work out more, to lose weight, to be better parents, to be more patient, to give up bad habits. Each one seems so small and easy to accomplish, and yet, do we succeed? 

They are small commitments,  but require our staying consistently and rigidly committed.

Even the morning after. 

Wishing you a Shabbat of staying true to your inner commitments, 

Rabbi Fishel & Ettie Zaklos