On my drive home one day last week, I was listening a podcast about Tefillah and heard the following quote:
There should always be a fire, but you shouldn’t be able to see the smoke. – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
I almost had to stop the car. What a powerful saying. It is referring to our avodah (in this case davening) and how we have sustain a certain level of passion and enthusiasm, yet, in true Kotzker style, we shouldn’t draw attention to ourselves.
Schukeling during daving is fine, as I tell my son, but it’s not the main avodah of davening. Wanting to be a role model for our families (and ourselves) and not drawing too much attention to oneself is a fine line line. Most people who are really humble don’t draw attention to themselves, yet they make an impact. That’s is what the Kotzker is saying. Just because there’s a fire, you don’t have to see the smoke.
That’s really a powerful thought. There was a point when I was in yeshiva and I used to “leave” my sifrei chassidut on the table or walk around with some obscure sefer – and then I realized that I was looking for the attention, and it made me reconsider how I was going about things (Rav Weinberger mentioned something similar a while back in one of the Orot HaTorah shiurim).
It also doesn’t work as well if you’re consciously trying to be a role model for your kids – it has to be real and happen organically, and they will take notice.
Rabbi P Krohn tells a story that he was once leaving a hotel in the mountains after a Shabbaton and decided to clear the snow off of a bunch of cars before he left. He then drove home and told his family. Not to be a Baal Guyvaah, but to show his family that we have look for Chessed opportunities.
Kotzker is right in every aspect. Most people today are very vain and every attention they get makes them more intolerable.
My New Hashkafah of Shidduchim 🙂
My new hashkafah of shidduchim is thanking and praising HASHEM always 🙂
Even when my dating experiences are far from pleasant, I realize that HASHEM is guiding my life with His infinite wisdom and abundant love, and exact precision that only He is capable of 🙂
HASHEM always knows what is truly good for me, even when I do not 🙂
Often what I need most is atonement and humility, so G_d gives me those precious things through unpleasant dating experiences 🙂
I now realize that I must always thank HASHEM for ALL of my dating experiences, because even the worst dates are for my eternal benefit, because they provide me with precious atonement and humility 🙂
Tractate Avot teaches that the reward for a good deed is proportionate to its difficulty; by giving me difficult dating experiences, HASHEM is providing me with greater reward for Olam HaBa, in addition to precious atonement and humility 🙂
G_d loves me even more than I love myself, and He would never give me an unpleasant dating experience unless it was for my eternal benefit in both Olam HaZeh and Olam HaBa 🙂
THANK YOU HASHEM!!!!
Thank you for all my dating experiences, whether pleasant or unpleasant or mediocre 🙂
You are always guiding me with endless wisdom and love; You always help me and give me everything I need 🙂
I regret all the times I complained;
instead of complaining, I should have been busy thanking You.
THANK YOU HASHEM!!!!
1) Uber – you’re obsession with not calling attention to yourself calls attention to yourself. Why don’t you just be yourself? Re P. Krohn: Unnecessary chessed seems ungenuine.
2) New Hashkafa – your hashkafa is unsustainable. Maybe a little more hishtadlus and self-awareness can get you moving. Best of luck.
3) Uber – here’s a real issue – why do you daven at all?
Thanks for your time.
I am reminded of RJBS’s idea, which he says is the family mesorah, which says that a person’s emotions are the Qodesh haQadashim. Lifnai velifnim. Not for display to the public.
Nothing I manage to live by. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.