For thirty days prior to Rosh Hashanah, we pause, we reflect, and we strive to unearth our true, inner “I” that sometimes hides beneath the many masks we often wear. In our day and age - where so many of us are always trying to keep up with the neighbors, the Joneses, or the Kardashians - that is no easy task.

Rabbi Allouche

There’s a man in this picture (at the top of this column). Can you see him?

According to prominent psychologists, if you find the man in the picture in 3 seconds or less, then the right part of your brain is more developed than in the average person. (The right part of the brain is mainly in charge of spatial abilities, face recognition, processing music, and creativity.)

If you found the man in the picture in about 1 minute, the right part of your brain is of the average person.

If you needed more than 1 minute to find him, the right part of your brain is slow.

During this Hebrew month of Elul, we are encouraged to play a similar game. 

For thirty days prior to Rosh Hashanah, we pause, we reflect, and we strive to unearth our true, inner “I” that sometimes hides beneath the many masks we often wear. 

In our day and age – where so many of us are always trying to keep up with the neighbors, the Joneses, or the Karadashians –  that is no easy task. 

On Facebook, young and old alike fool themselves into believing that they have hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called friends. Moreover, in this illusionary world, they are able to connect and “like” celebrities and megastars as if they really have a meaningful relationship with them.

On Twitter, many are in a race to accumulate as many followers as possible, just to feel loved and valued. 

And as if this weren’t enough, many computer games are designed just to give our youngsters a misleading perception that they are ninjas and snipers, entertainers, and sports stars.

Yet, beneath and beyond all layers, lies our Divine soul, that dances like a flame, swaying and licking the air, seeking to tear free of its bodily wick and rise heavenward, toward its source, toward G-d.

I’m sure you’ve encountered this soul before. As it re-enters our body each and every day, it begs our attention and asks for recognition. And it pleads: “Allow me to express my Divine self. Let me do good, consistently, and become an ambassador of goodness on earth. And let me commit to adding a new Mitzvah to my daily life so that my flame can continue to grow and shine, today more than yesterday, and much less than tomorrow.”

And so, during this month, and in preparation for Rosh Hashanah, let us look at our inner selves, open our eyes, and discover our true Divine “I”. Let us re-commit to unleashing its endless potential, with acts of goodness and kindness. 

PS – If you are still looking for him, the man in the picture can be found on the bottom corner toward the left side of the picture. He is partially exposed with his right eye and his nose.