It’s All In The Smile
The Mishna states “receive everyone with a pleasant face”. We are being taught in this Mishna the importance of having proper social interactions. You may be in a bad mood but you can always smile to another. Your bad mood is not their problem!
Why is the smile so important? I recently read an essay from the Rebbe with a nuanced comment that addresses this question – perhaps.
There is a parable given by the Alter Rebbe regarding the month of Elul. In the parable the Rebbe says that throughout the year the King resides in the palace and access is limited. Additionally, only those that are worthy and prepared can speak with the king.
During the month of Elul, in preparation for Rosh Hashanah the King comes out the field, where the regular people, in their work clothes and the king smiles at them and accepts their personal requests. No need for fancy clothes, or special ministerial access.
Really the analogy is adequate without the “smiling” of the King. It still conveys the message that G-d is accessible during this time as opposed to the rest of the year. What does the “smile” add to the analog?
The Rebbe explains that when the King smiles it means that the King is in a state to give life. Like the verse states; “by the light of the king’s face, we live”.
A smiling king is a king who is ready to give life!
How do you get the King to smile? Just go over to Him and strike up a conversation – prayer. Just go over to Him and do an act of kindness – Tzedakah, it’s G-d’s favorite action. Just go over to Him and study a little Torah – it’s his wisdom after all.
That’s all He is looking for! So what are you waiting for? Life is at hand!