Small Nails!

Last year we bought a large decorative mirror which came with the wires for it to be hung already attached in the back. All we had to do was hang the mirror to a hook on the wall. I went to the hardware department of one of the big outfits and began looking for hooks. I marveled that a single nail driven on an angle through a hook and into the wall could hold fifty pounds and more.

An article that I recently read based on a presentation of Rabbi Elimelech Biederman he gave additional meaning to my amazement over the small hook.

The gist of the article was that when a person wants to commit to something in the spiritual realm, small commitments have more staying power than larger ones.

To bring the point home and to show the significance of taking on something small, Rabbi Biederman used the example, “A small nail on the wall can hold up a large picture.”

When one genuinely commits to something small, it goes under the radar of our ‘evil inclination,’ because it seems insignificant and he leaves it alone. It’s the big stuff that the inclination is worried about and works overtime to try to trip a person up to eventually give up on it.

So if one says to himself what is the point of doing something small – it is rather insignificant. Think of the small nail that is consistently holding up something large and beautiful.

A house is generally filled with such adornments all being held by something small. Each small advancement we make in spirituality adds up and change and uplift comes gradually, healthily, effectively and appreciatively.

A few months ago I came across a quote from the Talmud that stood out and I wrote it down to research it and finally got a chance to. The quote is, “I am to You, and I am fitting to be saved!”

The Talmud in which this quote appears is based on a verse in Psalms (in Hallel) where King David expresses, “I became poor and He saved me.” The Assembly of Israel said before the Holy one, “Master of the universe! Although I am poor in Mitzvos, ‘I am Yours, and it is thus fitting for You to save me.’

I think the gem that shines within this statement is when a Jew expresses to G-d that, ‘I am Yours.’ I totally identify with You – He is in! Everything then falls into place. Even if he has a poor record for performing or adhering to Mitzvos, still, if he feels and says to G-d, ‘I am Yours,’ G-d responds because he identifies with G-d and joined with it is the possibility and prospect of further growth and connection with Mitzvos. ‘I am Yours,’ conveys that he is not locked in to his current spiritual position – he is indicating that there is room for me to grow!

As we approach the Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur each and every Jew has a built in awe and premonition during these days. In a certain sense we all recognize that there is a G-dly reckoning, assessment and judgement upon us, and there is no greater time than now that we convey, ‘I am Yours, and it is thus fitting for You to save me!’

Our Sages tell us that during the month of Elul its days are infused with G-d’s love toward us, as the verse associated with Elul indicates, ‘I am to my Beloved and My Beloved is to me.’

During Elul, when we are priming ourselves for the Holy Days, when we say, ‘I am Yours,’ it is something so beautiful to G-d. G-d responds to this with extra doses of love to us so that when the Day of Judgement arrives in the month of Tishrei, we can have confidence that G-d will see our identification with Him and our yearning to do that much more. G-d will look mercifully at us and see that ‘We are indeed fitting to be saved’ – and will scribe and seal us for an awesome – healthy, successful and blessed New Year!