19 Elul 5783/September 5, 2023
by Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld
Martin Buber, in his book Between Man and Man, tells a story of a student who came to him. Buber admits that while he paid attention to the student, after the student dies, he “failed to guess the questions which he did not put.” He goes on to write that from that experience:
“I have given up the search for religious experience which is outside normal life: the exception, extraction, exaltation, ecstasy; or it has given me up. I possess nothing but the everyday out of which I am never taken. The only mystery in life that is available to us is here where real life happens. Every moment of life is full of claim and responsibility.
Religion belongs to all moments. It is simply living all moments open to the possibility of dialogue.”
The great philosopher and religious Jew came to understand that while setting aside time to find and experience the Divine, if we pay attention, we will find true “religion” in our everyday life that we can find transcendence.
Martin Buber's experience changed him to his very core. During this month of Elul, think of the experiences in your life that have changed you to your very core and in what ways you need to continue to change.