iThank-Morning Blessings-Elul Kavanot-Eilu Devarim
When the government built a road near Kobrin, a Jew, who was employed by the contractor in the supply division, visited the Kobriner on Shabbat. He arrived at the Rabbi’s home at mealtime. Observing the excellent food and the well heated room, he thought in his heart, “How fine it is to be a Rabbi and to live in comfort, instead of being compelled oftentimes to work out of doors in the cold and stormy weather!”
Just then a woman entered, crying bitterly that her son was dangerously ill, and imploring the Rabbi to pray for his recovery. Everyone present was deeply distressed by the poor woman’s desperation.
The Rabbi who had surmised the workman’s thoughts by observing the expression of his face, turned to him, and said, “Well, do you still think it is good to be a Rabbi (Ohr Yesharim, page 146)?”
In the Morning Blessings of the Torah we recite, “These are the precepts whose fruits a person enjoys in This World but whose principal remains intact for him in the World to Come. They are: the honor due to father and mother, acts of kindness, early attendance at the house of study morning and evening, hospitality to guests, visiting the sick, providing for a bride, escorting the dead, absorption in prayer, bringing peace between man and his fellow, and between a man and his wife, and the study of Torah is equivalent to them all (Shabbat 127a).
Perhaps the, “acts of kindness, hospitality to guests, visiting the sick, providing for a bride, escorting the dead, and bringing peace,” is to remind us that our challenge to attach to God demands a level of sensitivity and care for others that me very well out way all the physical pleasures of this world. We are reminding ourselves that God, the Creator, carries, every second, the burden of paying attention to the needs of every individual.