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We are in parashat Netzavim, where the verse says: “you are standing in front of Hashem”. The Rambam (Moises ben Maimon) brings the law of prayer that it “simply” is to stand in front of Hashem. According to the Rambam one just needs to stand, acknowledge Hashem and the mitzvah of prayer would be fulfilled. Is it really that simple, to stand in front of the Creator of the universe? We need to understand that even though the simple understanding from the Rambam do suggest that it is that simple, we have to look at it through the kabbalistic scope. 

In Kabbalistic terms, standing in front of Hashem is the result of hard work and meditation. When the person does the prayer with the proper intentions, proper concentration and proper meditations; at a specific point it is said that he is standing in front of the King. This specific time is at the peak of the Amida, so it is very important that when we get to this point of the prayer we have to have in mind that we are actually standing in front of the King. 

Parashat Netzavim is actually giving the hint of how to spiritually prepare to approach Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the days between the two holidays. Rosh Hashanah is the day when we are standing in front of Hashem and he is delivering the judgment for the upcoming year but if we are not able to connect to this reality we are not going to be able to really take advantage of the oportunnity of praying during Rosh Hashanah. 

Jewish meditation is the key to get to the awareness of what is happening during Rosh Hashanah. Through jewish meditation we learn the power of our consciousness; sadly, now a days it is very hard to have control over our consciousness and to really focus on what is important. Social media, news, sports and jobs are few of the tools that the Yetzer Hara uses to steal our consciousness. So, the first thing we have to do is to regain control of our consciousness and direct it to focus on connecting with Hashem.   

Rabbi Shepherd gives the blessing for all of us to be able to learn with our full minds and to gather all of the different parts of our consciousness and elevate it to the highest point of standing in front of Hashem. May it be that we are all able to stand in front of Hashem in the Bet Hamikdash. Amen, ken yehi ratzon!

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