There was once a rabbi that was talking between mincha and maariv about the importance of prayer and how that enables one to have a relationship with G-d. One of his congregants responded "enough about G-d -- let's start services".
That is not my favorite joke, but it highlights a sobering thought.
As we find ourselves in month of Elul, it is important to reassess our most important priorities. I think something that has got to be on this list is our relationship with G-d. In this case, I am also (although not exclusively) referring to the people that live committed lives as Orthodox Jews. We are so focused on keeping the the mitzvos (which is a wonderful thing), but do we think about who authored these laws and why we are engaged in them ?
We have to take a step back and realize how we got to this point. The Creator of the world created Man in order to have a relationship with Him and that we can be recipients of His kindness. The vehicle we have in our lives to have that connection is the Torah and Mitzvos (good deeds). Yet, sometime we are not focused on the ultimate goal which is obviously having a meaningful relationship with our Creator.
We are reminded of this every day during Elul at the conclusion of services. It is customary to recite Chapter 27 of Psalms. King David writes in this chapter " I have one request and that is what I truly desire: That I should dwell in house of G-d all the days of my life and see His pleasantness".
The question that I have -- is that even on our radar screen? How prominent in our daily thoughts is this concept? When you consider doing a mitzva, is the G-d factor part of the equation?
On occasion it is important to remind ourselves of the most important things in life. I think having this discussion is one of those topics.
Please share your thoughts.