Friday, August 6, 2021

The Pre Season Is Important!

It is this time of year that holds promise for every beleaguered fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The perennial suffering that local football fans have endured for so many years seems to be in jeopardy with a complete overhaul and not to mention the prize of the number one draft pick. The comprehensive analysis of the Jags season is something beyond the scope of this space, and quite frankly, I feel unqualified to have an informed opinion on the subject. The angle that I want to highlight is the amount of time in training camp and the pre-season it takes to prepare for the regular season adequately. There are at least six weeks of intensive training that includes rigorous workouts and drills. The rationale for this lengthy preparation is evident as it would seem absurd to show up on the day of the start of the season and expect to succeed. It is only with proper planning and preparation that one can anticipate a season with success. This notion of proper planning should resonate with us as we welcome the month of Elul this Shabbos. Elul has been traditionally known as the time to prepare for the Jewish Calendar's most holy and auspicious days. The start of Elul is a reality check that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are around the corner. These awesome days are traditionally a call to get closer to G-d and his Divine Word. It is also essential to get in touch with our inner selves to have a healthy relationship with G-d. One can get there with appropriate reflection and introspection. This process is not like your favorite dish being prepared in the instant pot. This program of reflection and introspection needs a month, which is why we are blessed to have Elul. It may appear fanciful to show up on the day of Rosh Hashanah and dip the apple in honey and wish your friend a good year. As we know from every area of life that success on the field or corporate office doesn't just happen. It takes serious and careful planning to have an outcome that is rewarded with excellence. As the sage in Pirkei Avos taught, "the day is short, and the work is great." The opportunity of Elul lies in front of us, and the clock is ticking. This year more than ever, when we feel the gravity of Rosh Hashanah approaching, let us not squander the gift of Elul. Have a Peaceful Shabbos, Rabbi Yaakov Fisch

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