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Monday, Elul 16 5782 / September 12, 2022


From Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur, we recite four special passages during the Amidah prayers, asking G-d to inscribe us in the Book of Life


In the first passage we say, "Remember us for life...inscribe us in the Book of Life"; The second passage is, "Who is like You merciful Father, who in compassion remembers His creatures for life."; The third passage is, "Inscribe all the children of Your covenant for a good life." 


In the fourth passage we pray to be inscribed, "In the Book of Life, blessing, peace and prosperity, deliverance, consolation and favorable decrees."  We begin by asking for the very basic, life; after we ask for everything else, blessings, peace, prosperity etc. 


In the world we live in today, many are, unfortunately, more occupied with pursuing wealth than with health. In the hustle bustle of day-to-day life our priorities may become distorted, and we tend to forget to appreciate and be thankful for the miracle called LIFE, which G-d grants us every second of every day.


In the Modim prayer, recited three times daily, we thank G-d, "For our lives which are in your hand, and for our souls which are entrusted to You, for your miracles which are with us daily." In the New Year we are reminded of our priorities - to be inscribed in the Book of Life.


A chassid once came to his rebbe complaining that he had a bad year financially. The rebbe asked him, "How is your health and the health of your family?" The chassid replied that health was, thank G-d, good.  The rebbe then quoted the words of the Talmud, "He Who gives life will surely give sustenance!"


The rebbe explained it with a parable, "A wealthy businessman was traveling home from the fair. He had with him a large sum of money. The return home was long and he stopped at an inn for Shabbat. As it is not permitted to carry money on Shabbat, the businessman had no choice but to give his wallet, which contained 5,000 rubles plus 5 kopikes (pennies), to the innkeeper for safekeeping until after Shabbat. 


"During Shabbat the businessman was worried whether the innkeeper was trustworthy and will he ever see his money again. Immediately after Shabbat he asked for his wallet which the innkeeper returned. The merchant went back to his room to count the money and found all 5,000 rubles intact. 


The rebbe now turned to his chassid and asked, "Do you think that after realizing that the innkeeper returned the 5000 rubles, would the businessman still be worried whether the five pennies-kopikes were also returned? Only a fool would suspect the innkeeper in not giving back the five kopikes when he was trustworthy with 5000 rubles!"


"G-d gave you and your family life which is worth far more than anything else in the world. If you have true faith that life and health comes from G-d, you should also have faith that He will provide you with your livelihood as well. Our sages say, “He Who gives life will surely give sustenance!"