Tuesday, February 26, 2013


How we slept at night determines a lot of how we perform the next day.

That's one good reason to get into the "Bedtime Shema" routine, which can be found in your prayerbook.
Let go of the maddening thoughts of the day.  Let the highlights of your day flash through your mind. Look for the sparks of beauty you came to this world to find. Discard the mess-ups.

You want those mess-ups to be forgotten. The best way to accomplish that is by forgetting the mess-ups of others that affected you. As Rava, the Talmudic sage, would say, "Those who ignore the impulse to get even, all their sins are ignored in the heavenly record."
That's why we preface the Bedtime Shema with a short paragraph declaring our forgiveness for all who may have slighted us.

When we say the Shema Yisrael, we declare that behind all that happened today there is only One G-d. If we say it with intense mental focus, it cleanses the soul.

We should ponder on G-d's kindness that allows us to start each day anew.  And move our soul closer to G-d and further from that which ties us down.

The Rebbe Rashab said that the reciting of Sh'ma before retiring at night is, in miniature form, like the Confession before death. But then one leaves the marketplace permanently. With the Bedside Sh'ma every night, however, one is still in the middle of the "market" and we can still accomplish.

We finish the bedtime prayers with the Hamapil blessing, requesting a peaceful night, entrusting our soul in G-d's faithful hands and praising Him for that which we witnessed today, that His glory illuminates the entire world.

Having difficulty falling asleep? Try saying, thinking or visualizing the words of Shema.

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