Photo Credit: Jewish Press

The simple pleasures of life such as breathing and walking the streets freely, seem to pass us by without any special thought.

If someone, heaven forbid, gets sick we immediately remember how thankful we are that we are healthy and well. If any tragedy or trying experience occurs, we remember very well how appreciative we are most of the time for our health and freedom.

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However, on a daily basis, we tend to get upset about the traffic jam we are sitting in, and get annoyed at the long checkout line in the supermarket, and if someone doesn’t respect us properly, we are really upset.

All these examples are true and disturbing. However, if we don’t constantly put them in the right light, and focus on the main issues in life, then we lose sight of the big picture.

These past few weeks I keep stressing the importance of reflecting upon our actions, since during this time period of the months of Tammuz and Av, we can make a difference and bring upon us the redemption as soon as possible.

Hashem is always watching over us and looking at our behavior and listening in on our feelings and thoughts. Hashem, who gives us life every second is constantly waiting to hear our appreciation for all He does for us. Every so often G-d sends us very clear messages so that we don’t forget Him and that we don’t forget to give thanks to Hashem for all He does for us every second of our lives.

This past Shabbat I had such an experience, where Hashem sent me a special message reminding me just how special life is and just how much good G-d is constantly sending our way.

I pray each week in a wonderful Chabad minyan here in Jerusalem, in the heart of Rechavia. The Rabbi is so welcoming and great, and all the singing at the shul on Shabbat surely reaches the heavens each and every time we all sing together.

After the services on Shabbat morning, there is usually a small Kiddush set up. Sometimes it’s sponsored by a person who has a certain event that week, and sometimes it’s just sponsored by the shul for everyone to taste something after the beautiful prayers of the day.

This past week the tables were set for a feast. And we were all waiting to hear who the honored guests were that set up such a fantastic table.

After the Kiddush was recited, one of the members of the community stood up and started to explain the reason for this special Kiddush.

She said that for various reasons her husband has been away for the entire year of corona, and couldn’t come home, and now he was finally home. She expressed how wonderful the community was and how much love is always felt when entering this special shul. How happy she was now that finally her husband can join this beautiful congregation that is built on so much love and joy.

Her husband then got up to speak and said that it’s been over a year that he wasn’t able to pray in a shul with a proper minyan and hear the holy Torah being read. Or to hear and be blessed by the Kohanim. The man had tears in his eyes and got all choked up and couldn’t continue to speak.

We were all so moved and touched by their words. We go to shul each and every week. How often do we think of people who don’t have this simple and obvious pleasure at their fingertips? As Jewish people the synagogue is our main praying house and a place we attend daily. The synagogue represents our holy Temple which was destroyed and we are supposed to be reminded constantly as we enter the shul how greatly missed our Temple is.

This past week the entire congregation was reminded to appreciate and remember how lucky we are to be able to pray every day and Shabbat with a congregation. And to remind us that Hashem’s house of prayer isn’t complete until G-d returns to us all in the final redemption and His return to Jerusalem, please G-d, soon.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com