Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li
This phrase represents the yimei ratzon which are prevalent during Elul.
I had a personal experience of this the other which I feel demonstrates in real terms what this all means.
After a few setbacks and letdowns I was feeling very down a few days ago, but I felt that I shouldn’t go back home upset as my wife didn’t deserve this and it wouldn’t be very productive to the learning that I would be doing later that day. So I put into practice a lesson I learnt a few years ago to get out of a bad mood…Put the biggest smile on your face and stand in front of a mirror (preferably somewhere where noone can see you!) – This works because it’s very hard to be upset when you are smiling and after a few minutes of this and telling myself that everything that has happened is for the best I was in a much better mood. As I left the elevator in which I had hurt my face smiling so hard, I walked out of the building and across the road. I still wasn’t ecstatic but I could at least put on a brave face to my wife who had not seen me all day. Then, all of a sudden, just before I approached the steps to my apartment I looked down and saw $100 bill*. I immediately realised that this was “Vedodi Li” to my “Ani Ledodi” of trying to get in a better mood. I was trying to make myself happy for the benefit of my wife and my learning – and HaShem rewarded my effort by causing me to be even happier.
The lesson I took from all of this is that during Elul, a little bit of hishtadlus can go a long way!

* I was able to keep the money according to the laws of hashovas aveida, in particular because the money was in a public domain with no distinguishing marks.


 

 

 

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