(Photo from inmagine.com)
I was able to hear R Heshy Kleinman, author of the PRAYING WITH FIRE series, twice today. Tonight he shared the following idea and story:
People often approach davening and the High Holidays and feel that they are not worthy of praying to Hashem. They have made mistakes during their life or during the year. They have done actions that have distanced themselves from their creator. Let’s hear a story.
There was once a famous speaker who, before his offical speaking engagement would begin, would stand in front of his audience and hold up a $100 dollar bill. He would then ask the crowd, “Who wants $100?”
Everyone would raise their hands and, of course, respond. Then he would fold up the $100 bill and ask the same question. Again, everyone in the crowd would respond in the positive. Finally, he would take the $100 bill crumple it up, step on it and smash it. The speaker would then, one last time, hold up this dirty $100 bill and ask, “Who wants $100”? The entire audience would raise their hands.
You, see, no matter how used and abused a $100 bill is, it still never loses it’s value. Each of us, explained Rabbi Kleinman, has an natural value. We are each created in the image of Hashem and we each have a powerful connection and relationship with Hashem. Our tefillos will always reach HaKodesh Baruch Hu, regardless of what we have done in our past. Our value to Hashem can never diminish.