The Daily Blast

Rabbi Nissim Abrin
Bais Avrohom

Rabbi Nissim Abrin says during Elul we should hold ourselves accountable but forgive others.

Daily Reading

Daily Sources

בלילה קודם השינה נכון לאדם שיפשפש במעשיו שעשה כל היום ואם ימצא שעשה עבירה יתודה עליה ויקבל ע”ע שלא לעשותה עוד
משנה ברורה רלט:א:ט

At night, before you go to bed, you should look back at your day. If you find that you did anything wrong, accept upon yourself not to do it again. 

-Mishna Berura 239:1:9

והנני רואה צורך לאדם שיהיה מדקדק ושוקל דרכיו דבר יום ביומו כסוחרים הגדולים אשר יפלסו תמיד כל עסקיהם למען לא יתקלקלו, ויקבע עתים ושעות לזה שלא יהיה משקלו עראי, אלא בקביעות גדול, כי רב התולדה הוא
מסילת ישרים ג׳:י׳׳ב

I see a need for a man to be meticulous and weigh his ways each and every day like the great merchants who continuously evaluate all of their business matters in order that they not degenerate. He should fix definite times and hours for this weighing so that it not be haphazard but rather with the greatest regularity for it yields great results.

-Mesilat Yesharim 3:12

Daily Goals

Elul: The 4 D’s of Lasting Change
1. Don’t Do It Alone

One of the cornerstone principles of the 12-step program, which has helped millions worldwide recover from the darkest addictions, is that as humans we cannot go through life alone. We must draw on the help and support from others in order to succeed.

Involve a friend or a mentor with your resolution. Too many resolutions have fallen by the wayside because we didn’t have anyone to encourage us and keep us strong. When the going gets rough and we feel like giving up it is absolutely essential to have a shoulder to lean on.

Better yet, partner with a friend in taking on a growth project together and become accountable to each other. Accountability coupled with a sense of not wanting to let our partner down is a potent force that will give us a much better shot at staying with our resolutions.

2. Don’t Take on Too Much

Too often we become inspired to change and resolve to make big improvements in our life. The problem is that even though our souls desire to grow, our bodies resist big change. Our bodies only adapt to small changes, one step at a time. So whatever you resolve to do, cut it in half. Real incremental growth is better than big aspirations that are never actualized.

3. Daven – Pray

Even the most grand ambitions will fail without God’s help. Pray to Him and ask for clarity on what you should be working on and that He give you the focus and wisdom to properly devise a successful course of action to go about that change. Turn to Him for success in your endeavors and you will have an infinitely better chance of achieving that success.

4. Don’t Fear Failure

We need to stop fearing failure. Failure is an integral and unavoidable part of growth. Just as an infant falls all the time when learning to walk, we too will never grow out of failing and falling when we strive to attain a goal. We need to utilize our failures to learn new things about ourselves and then we need to get back up and try again.

The only way we can escape failure (and criticism) is by doing nothing and saying nothing. This year, as we enter into the Hebrew month of Elul, the month of preparation before Rosh Hashanah, let’s be smart about rekindling our inner will and resolve to change.

Find a growth partner, cut your resolution in half, pray, and be fearless about failure. You will have an Elul that will inspire you and lead you into a year filled with enduring growth.

Today In Jewish History

3 Elul –R’ Avraham Yitzchok HaKohen Kook – 1935

On this day in 1935, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok HaKohen Kook passed away.  R’ Kook is considered until this day the intellectual forefather of the Religious Zionist movement.  A student of the great Volozhin Yeshiva in Lithuania, R’ Kook married the daughter of one of his teachers from the Yeshiva R’ Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz-Teomim better known as the Aderes.  One year later, his wife died.  He took her first cousin as his second wife. 

In 1904, R’ Kook moved to Israel, then part of the Ottoman Empire.  His first position in the country was in the city of Jaffa.  During this time, he wrote many of the writings that would later be published posthumously.  He would find himself stranded in Switzerland and London during WWI.  He would even take a position in 1916 in London.  After the war, in 1919 he was able to return to Israel.  He was appointed Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and shortly after in 1921 the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Palestine, making him the first Chief Rabbi of the land in 1,850 years. In 1924, he opened his Yeshiva called Mercaz HaRav.

R’ Kook was not only a great thinker, halachist, and writer, but he worked tirelessly to bridge the gaps of different types of Jews; right-left, and center in Israel. He saw the rebuilding of Israel as the beginning of the Messianic redemption, and every Jew played a role in that.  

Daily Quotes

"Think of these things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account."
-Benjamin Franklin

"A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody."

-Thomas Paine

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

-Oprah Winfrey

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