Face to Face by Michael Winner/9/7/2023 First off, I would like to send a personal thank you to Mr. Anonymous, who sent me a copy of the Kedushas Levi (in English!). He said that it was for no reason other than he thought I would appreciate it.It was a real surprise getting a package delivered to my home and to see what was inside. I mentioned to my wife that things like that can make a person feel good for days. At that point, she reminded me of all the surprise gifts that she has bought me in the past. Like when she bought everybody new blankets for the winter. Mine was plaid with a little tag on it that said, "Friskies." You know … that cat food company with the advertisement with the singing cats that went: "Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow. Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow" (okay, it's hard to sing in writing, but those who know what I'm talking about, remember all too well). Clearly, my value is that of a cat. And here in Israel, where they are everywhere, it's clear that I'm worth nothing in her eyes.ANYHOW …"You are standing this day, before (lifnei) Hashem your G-d" (Devarim 29:9).The Kedushas Levi explains that the word "before" in Hebrew is "lifnei," which is also the same root to the word "face" and to the word "inner."With this, we understand a little deeper the meaning of being "before Hashem."There are two ways of standing in front of Hashem. You can either face Him or have your back to Him. When you are looking toward him, you are "face-to-face." You are showing that you want to make His will, your will. When we see photos of couples at their wedding, we never see them back-to-back, focusing on other things. We see them facing each other, being that they want to build a future together, willingly, without any third parties in the way."And recite before Me (lifnei) on Rosh HaShanah verses that mention Kingships, Remembrances, and Shofros: Kingships so that you will crown Me as King over you; Remembrances so that your remembrance will rise before Me for good; and with what will the remembrance rise? It will rise with the shofar" (Rosh Hashana 16a).Throughout the year, we have a tendency to turn away from Hashem. It's called the Yetzer Horah. He's good at his job, and it's natural for us to fall into his traps. However, every year, we are given this special time, until Simchas Torah, to once again "face" Hashem. Not because we have no choice or out of fear, but rather because we have an inner desire to do so.And when we turn toward Hashem, He turns toward us, and He becomes "Your G-d," your personal G-d, who shows the same commitment (if not more) to your relationship, as you do to Him.With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!