This post is about the Jewish month of Cheshvan, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan begins Monday night, the 31st of October, and lasts for two days.
On the 7th of Cheshvan, in Israel, prayers for rain begin. For this month, focus on enhancing your prayers. You can pick a section of the prayers to say daily with understanding and input this into your checklist. In addition or instead, you can recite daily one Psalm with understanding (longer Psalms can be read over two to three days).
(If you do not yet pray daily, open up a prayer book and see if any of the prayers resonate with you, or better yet, ask your rabbi or spiritual mentor for a suggestion; recite that prayer every day. Alternatively, read daily from the book of Psalms. There are many excellent English translations available with varied formats; choose one that works best for you.)
One type of prayer, popularized by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, is called Hitbodedut; this is where we talk out loud to God in our native language, unburdening ourselves to Him. Try this daily practice for at least a week, preferably a month. See if it helps you feel closer to God and to feeling His comfort and support.
Part of upgrading our prayers is showing reverence for the sanctuary, and not talking during the prayer service.
Even while we pray for help in specific areas of our lives, we surrender to God, acknowledging that only He knows what is truly best for us.
Questions for the month:
“Which section of the prayers will I focus on saying this month with understanding? Or, what else can I do to enhance my prayers?”
“What issues are weighing on my mind that I can informally speak to God about?”
“How can I enhance the reverence I show for the sanctuary?”
Take care and may God grant us success in the coming month,