motzei Shabbos – after Shabbat

 Hasgacha peratis (divine guidance), is bestowed upon all human beings; yet, to the degree of awareness that is developed over time, some people may be less aware than others of H’Shem’s individual attention. Nevertheless, this awareness may be developed by all, by way of setting aside time for heshbon hanefesh (literally, an accounting of the soul). Daily reflection upon our thoughts, speech and actions should bring us towards a greater awareness of the consequences being brought into our lives as recompense.

The refinement of the soul, with the help of H’Shem, occurs through this constant focus on introspection, as one gains insight into the way our lives our being shaped by Him. In doing so, it is important to pay attention to the events in our lives, whether positive or negative, in order to begin to notice any patterns that could enlighten us as to how the tapestry of our lives is being woven from Above. In this manner, we may begin to “connect the dots,” so to speak, between our actions and the events in our lives. 

There is a connection between the blessings and curses (the positive and negative events in life) and G-d’s response to our obedience or lack thereof. “I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life ” (Deuteronomy 30:19, JPS 1917 Tanach). Therefore, when we remind ourselves of this connection, we may notice the consequences of our behavior, as well as our speech, and even our thoughts as well. H’Shem’s intent is to steer us in the right direction, despite our failures to live up to His expectations of us.

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