Published Date: September 01, 2019
This week’s music: https://youtu.be/XCsL1NuuIaM
There is definitely something to be said with being able to go with the flow of things. Don’t let changes upset me. Not everything can be perfectly planned by human minds. Everything seems to take place in exactly the right time.
How can I get to experience the clear benefits of that way of life without losing the frameworks which are so important and helpful to get me to the next place that I need to be?
Perhaps one of the answers can be found in this week’s Torah portion of “Re’eh.” Moshe Rabenu tells us in the name of Hashem ,”Re’eh Anochi noten lifneichem hayom, bracha uklalah,” See (that) I am giving before you today, blessing and curse (Devraim 11.26). See? What am I looking for? How can I clearly and definitively recognize which aspects of my life are a blessing and which are, “chas v’shalom,” the opposite?
It seems to me that I need to differentiate between going with the flow and ignoring the moment. If I ignore the moment I am basically stand still, marching in place with no chosen direction. How will I know what I have missed, if I allow myself to be numb and oblivious to my surroundings? Every person that I have met today, every conversation which I had, every word that I have read, was divinely set up for me to be able to receive. “Bishvili nivra ha’olam,” for me the world was created (Mishnayot Sanhedrin 4.5). Which world? My world. The one I experience and walk through each day.
“The moments” are happening for all of us day after day. What a personal loss if I simply let them pass me by. I am not talking about getting stuck in the moment. Something happens which has such a strong effect on my consciousness that I can’t seem to let go of it for months or even years. I can allow it to impact me negatively for an eternity. No not that self-imposed torture! Rather, I am suggesting that I may not allow any of my personal moments to pass me by without at least acknowledging them and perhaps, in doing so, I offer myself a better opportunity to hear what is really being said to me by this day in my life. In that way, I can really get to know who I am, and as the Holy Ari teaches, begin to understand why my soul was sent down to this world. What Is my job here?
So I need to see and listen, as the Torah adds in the following verse, “the blessing that when you will listen to the mitzvoth of your God” (Devraim 11.27). I need to listen to myself, to the people who share and speak with me and to all of my surroundings which Hashem has sent to me, to help me realize and actualize “the blessing”. To literally see my life as a blessing and see everything that happens to me as another signal on the road to “the blessing.”
When is the last time I dedicated 5 minutes a day to listen to myself? What is going on inside of me? Don’t I realize how special I am? What is my soul saying to me today? What is it that is really important to me and to the lives of my family and friends around me?
The beautiful message in this portion is that these opportunities and abilities to appreciate and understand my life are offered to me every single day. Reb Levi Yitzchak teaches that the Torah, by repeating the word “hayom,” three times in the first three verses, is emphasizing the importance of “today,” in everyone’s life. Every day Hashem is creating a new day just for me. “Hamechadesh b’tuvo b’chol yma tamid…” (from our daily morning prayers) the One who out of His goodness, is offering us Creation every day. Every day we get to start again. We can suspend our looking at yesterday and see what today has to bring us. Today, The Gerer Rebbe says, that Hashem sends us a new “koach,” potential, to accomplish exactly that which is my role in life today. Oh and by the way, the Rebbe adds, if you don’t realize that potential, that opportunity is simply gone, but not to worry, a new one is being sent to you tomorrow when you awake. Thank you God for bringing me back to this world this morning. What is my job today?
The Slonimer Rebbe, in the name of the Holy Kubriner, tells that he was once asked, “what is the most important thing that a person needs to do?” The Rebbe answered, “whatever it is that you need to do right now, that is the most important thing in your world.”
So we wake up and, with God’s help and guidance, look at the world with eyes that want to choose, not simply back into the non decisions of life. We look at our life’s experiences and do what we can to attune ourselves to realizing all parts of the blessing, not just those parts of life which we enjoy. That is an integral part of choice. I choose this and therefore, I sacrifice that. “Mesirat nesfesh,” giving of myself so that I can see the entire picture .
Today, perhaps clearer than ever in our lifetime, we are consistently being confronted with personal choices that clearly impact not only our individual lives, but the lives of everyone around us.
May we be blessed to feel secure and not be afraid to choose that which identifies us as our unique self both as individuals and as a part of the “klal”.