I was talking to a friend of mine, and he told me he needed to get an oil change on his car. I thought about this and it occurred to me that during this auspicious time of year, don’t we all need an oil change? No, not on our cars, but on our spiritual vehicle of life.  

So much of the year, we are fueled by our physical wants and needs. We are fueled by jealousy, desire, and our own ego. But on Yom Kippur, our vehicle comes to a full stop, and we perform an inner oil change. We change our focus and mindset. We change from a physical geared perspective in life, to a more spiritual geared perspective. We associate with the G-dly spark within us, and we become fueled by our spiritual wants, desires, and aspirations. 

Failing to perform an oil change on a car can lead to the engine overheating or a blown gasket. And so it is in life. Failure to change what truthfully fuels us in our lives, can lead to a life of unhappiness and discontent. 

As Yom Kippur is nearly upon us, let us provide our own inner vehicles of life, the things that drive us, with the true oil change that it deserves. Let us be fueled by goodness, positivity, and holiness. 

Just taking a quick glance at Parshas Ha’azinu causes the reader to wonder as to its strange set up, as it is written in the Torah as שורות שורות, two columns. A lot of ink has been used to address this seemingly strange phenomenon, and I would like to use a bit more ink and share with you another possible idea. 

As I was looking intently at the two columns in Parshas Ha’azinu, focused on and studying the holy timeless words of the Torah, there was something alluring that kept catching my eye. That is, the empty space in the middle! Although I attempted to read the black words on either side, there was something about the space in the middle that really struck a deep chord and provided me with a mental imagery of what it perhaps represents.  

You see, the Ramban famously says that everything – all of history – is alluded to in the Song of Ha’azinu. The Torah’s words on either side represent the rubric of life, the totality of the commandments, and the overall map of the human experience. 

But guess what, if the Song of Ha’azinu includes everything, past and future, that means it also includes the present. It is perhaps the present that is alluded to by the empty space in the middle. It represents YOUR PATH ALONG UNCHARTED TERRITORY AND GROUND. For each person, that empty space in the middle – amidst all of history and everything in the grand universe – represents their unique space to be and become their true selves. 

What you can achieve with your G-dly spark is different than everyone else. So, what are you waiting for? Get that oil change, fuel your life from holiness and purity, and head down your unique path to spiritual greatness! Have a holy Shabbos!