true love

Today in shul, a person sat down rather noisily right next to me in the middle of the tefillah. I couldn't see who it was because my tallit obscured them. Initially I just tried to ignore the intrusion. Almost immediately I began to examine my response to this person, I was indignant. I thought what if I glanced around the edge of my tallit and it turned out to be a friend of mine?surely my anger would immediately subside and instead I would be happy to see who it was. I thought further, what if it was one of my brothers? (they are currently far away in America) I would be delighted to see them. What if it was my grandfather? (who passed away last cheshvan) I'd be ecstatic and overjoyed at the oppurtunity to sit next to him, and of course, out of respect I would accept any behavior on his part. What if it was my long lost friend who's path has diverged from mine and whose teshuvah I pray for everyday? I would be endlessly thankful, sublimely blissful to see this friend putting on tefillin and davening in a minyan.

By the end of the minute or so I spent thinking about it, I felt such great love for the Jew sitting next to me, so thankful that he was there in shul with me. I glanced around my tallit to discover that, in fact, I'd never seen him before, but it didn't change the warm feelings of brotherhood I harbored towards him.

It's Elul and we're all brothers and sisters, we all want to be close to our Father's table. When you see another Jew, be thankful that you aren't alone.


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