Infusing Meaning into our Lives

A Rabbi was walking down the street when a Jew, who was looking for inspiration, approached him. 

Looking for Inspiration: “Tell me, are you a Rabbi?” 

Rabbi: “Yes.”

Looking for Inspiration: “I have a question which has been on my mind for a while.”

Rabbi: “Go right ahead.”

Looking for Inspiration: “Why did God create me?”

Rabbi: The Mesilas Yesharim teaches that the only reason why Hashem created us, let me repeat:  the only reason was in order to give us pleasure… spiritual pleasure. [1]

Looking for Inspiration: How do we achieve that?

Rabbi: First of all, we have to mechazek (reinforce) ourselves in the matter of making Hashem more real in our lives. This is the first step in how to indulge in spiritual pleasure.

Looking for Inspiration:  So, how do we make Hashem more real in our lives?

Rabbi: The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch teaches: “I have placed Hashem before me constantly.[2]

What this implies is that the way we act and speak should be the same as if we were in the presence of a great king. For Hashem’s who is the great King may He be blessed, glory fills the entire world.[3]  This means that He is right here with us. Consequently, we have to strive to act with this belief of Him being literally with us wherever we are!

Looking for Inspiration: But we can’t even pick up Hashem’s presence with our five senses!

Rabbi: That is where making Hashem real steps in.

Looking for Inspiration: How?

Rabbi: Let’s take davening as an example. While davening or saying a bracha, we say the word “Attah” (You) we actually have to visualize Hashem’s awareness of Him being right in front of us. [4] This makes it more real. A one-way conversation between you and Hashem. As Rav Binyomin Moskovitz, Rosh Yeshiva Midrash Shmuel put it: “Many people are caught in the prison of their five senses. Hashem gave us our imagination to make עולם הבא and all aspects of רוחניות (including Hashem) real. “[5]

Looking for Inspiration: “Let me see if I got it right. The way we start making Hashem more real in our lives and thereby accomplish the first step in achieving spiritual pleasure is accomplished through davening. While saying the word “Attah” (You) I have to visualize the awareness of Hashem who is literally right in front of me while I daven (pray) and by doing that I am making the bracha more real. Because that way I am much more aware that I am literally talking to Hashem who is right in front of me.” 

Shmuel  Brodersen is a talmid of Rav Binyomin Moskovitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Midrash Shmuel, Yerushalayim.


[1] See Mesilas Yesharim first chapter

[2] Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 1 Se’if 1

[3] Yeshayah 6:3

[4] As taught to me by Rav Binyomin Moskovitz

[5] Yeshiva Midrash Shmuel Newsletter Kislev 5780