The Baal Shem Tov taught that everything we hear or see (in our world around us) can & should be (derived) a lesson in our divine service. So what to make of the prominent bold lettering on this shop door I passed the other day?

First thing that comes to mind is Mishna in Avot (4:16): “Prepare yourself… before entering.” Some of us/sometimes may think this requires huge personal transformation, finest garb, etc… no, all this door asks of us (note the huge “Please”) is pull up your pants – basics.

There’s a Yiddish/Chassidic expression, based on the biblical “gird your loins” (in the Passover story): “untergartelen zich” often used (see a Rebbe’s Matot-Massei sicha) as a deliberate preparation for prayer, the mindset, getting into that headspace.

Similarly, (back to biblical “gird your loins”) in this 1986 Rebbe’s pre-Passover letter, see the preparedness explanation for “Belt” https://shabboshouse.org/mendels-messages/belt-sandal-stick/ and belt is what helps keep our pants up.

The “untergartelen zich” expression refers to putting one’s belt on, or gartel, in preparation for prayer. Before we enter prayer, please says the door, take this small but significant step. Don’t just rush in without it.

One more thought/lesson, unrelated to the above (about preparedness). There’s a Yiddish expression, similar to “losing one’s shirt” but in Yiddish it is “losing one’s pants.” That means a total loss of investment, being wiped out. The door reminds us, with a please that before we enter a new space/experience/level, we pull our pants up, i.e. not lose our pants. We build on what we had before, not to throw it all away. Please Pull Your Pants Up Before Entering. Most doors won’t say this but perhaps this door teaches it to us for all of them.