A Different View
by Rabbi Michoel Gourarie
A few years ago, in the need of exercise I began playing tennis, which I hadn't done for some time. While I was enjoying it immensely I sometimes forgot some of the rules and had to be reminded of how exactly the game is played.
Apparently one of the traditions of tennis is that after every couple of games both players switch sides. This is one particular practice that annoys me. I don't understand why just as I get comfortable with the side I am playing on I need to switch to the other side of the court where the sunlight is brighter, the wind blows the opposite direction and it just feels altogether different.
Everything has a lesson. In life's journey one of the most challenging things is to change and go beyond our comfort zone. But real growth can only occur when we are prepared to look at things with a different perspective. Our relationships can only thrive if we understand the world of the other person, appreciating the way that they view reality which might be very different to ours. We can only progress spiritually if we examine our core values and are prepared to make a mindset shift and, when necessary, adopt new ways of thinking.
This coming Shabbat we will bless the new month of Elul - the month of preparation for the New Year. It is the month when we reflect on the year gone by and commit ourselves to improve in the new year. In this month G-d is incredibly close to us, making it a little easier to experience growth and real change.
As hard as it might be, this month is the best time to switch sides and look at life differently than we have till now.