Posted on October 5th, 2011 by Rabbi
A wealthy man was set to embark on a lengthy journey to a distant land. He therefore packed many belongings, as well as food for the way, piling everything into his magnificent coach.
Before he set out on his journey, he called his loyal servant and explained, “I am leaving my home for an extended period of time, and I am appointing you to faithfully watch over it. I have but one request: that you take extraordinary care of my private office, as its contents are very dear to me. Please take extra-special care of it!” The servant agreed, and the wealthy man boarded his coach and set off.
When the clouds of dust from the coach settled, the servant entered the house and thought, “I wonder why my master ordered that I carefully guard his private office, there must be an item of great value hidden inside.”
The servant entered the wealthy man’s office and found a huge wooden chest sitting in the corner. The chest immediately caught his eye.
The servant opened the chest and saw a beautiful treasure consisting of silver and gold, precious gems, and pearls. But much to his surprise, the entire treasure was covered with mud.
“How odd,” the servant thought to himself. “On one hand, my master cautioned me to take special care of his precious treasure, yet on the other hand, he himself is so careless with it that he allows it to become filthy with mud.”
So it is with man. When the time will come for man to stand in judgment before the Heavenly Court, the innermost parts of his heart are examined. Were the thoughts in his heart pure, and did he serve G-d with love and honesty? For the heart is the most precious treasure contained within man’s body, and if it is revealed that his heart is covered with filth and mud, it is clue to the mundane thoughts that fill it.
How terrible will his humiliation and shame be at that moment.
Therefore, during Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur we beseech the Holy One, blessed be He “who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Ps. 33:15) Create in me a pure heart, O G-d, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Ps. 51:10) — Master of the Universe, please make our hearts contain only love and awe for you and not any alien thoughts!
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)