This week’s music: You Are The Kind
We are commanded to look for God. “Dirshu Hahsem b’himatzo,” seek God where He is found, “k’ra’uhu b’heyotem karov, call out to him when he is close to you.” (Yeshayahu 55). “Hashem melech,” God is King, (Psalms 10.16) “Hashem malach,” God was King, (Psalms 93.1) “Hashem yimloch l’lolam va’ed,” God will be the ruling King forever (Shmot 15.18).
“History repeats itself,” they always say. Yes, what happened in our collective past is eternal. It always has the potential to return again. We as a people believe that events in history are alive in the present and simultaneously we yearn and hope for a better future. “The Torah is forever and eternal,” teaches The Slonimer Rebbe time and time again. The Holy Torah, which is the embodiment of God, connects us to our past, supports us in our present and directs us to our future.
“B’ha’alotcha et hanerot, el mul pnei ha “Menorah,” when you (Aharon Hakohen) go up to lift up the lights towards the face of the menorah, “ya’iru shivat hanerot,” all seven candles will light up (Bamidbar 8.2). The middle highest lamp was lit first because it set the example for all of the other candles. It’s fire immediately pointed upward, reaching to connect with the highest force in the universe. Rashi points out that all of the other six candles leaned towards the center to connect with the holy direction it was showing as the example of connecting to the source.“El mul p’n ha’Menorah,” Reb Levi Yitzchak, teaches us that the word “p’nei” expresses a desire to turn toward and be face to face with greatness and holiness. Watch the candles as they dance with joy reaching towards the heavens.
It never fails. Similarly as humans, parents, friends, when we teach by example, everyone listens. Everyone is looking and waiting to see how we teach. If we only teach with words, some will listen, they may then rationalize or choose to forget. Yet others turn away even before you start speaking. When I teach by example, I am teaching with truth. This is who I am. It comes from a place of love and enters into the heart with love. What you see is what you get! I need to use my eyes as a source for me to physically be able to see all that goes on around me. In addition, I need my spiritual eyes to be open to a future that I have never seen before.
Where can I find the light to be able to activate those eyes? “Look for God where He is found.” I need to be looking all the time. Is what I am doing right now bringing me closer to Hashem or pushing me, “chas v’shalom,” further away? Are my actions bringing justice and Peace to the world or divisiveness and hatred? In order to answer I need to look for the light. When I look around in search of “the light” I need to be aware that the light doesn’t always appear in a sphere of total kindness. The light also appears as it speaks through the darkness and forces a much needed light on to our world.
The Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, the center point of Eretz Yisrael, is where the light always was found and continues to be present. This means that not only can we be blessed to see the positive dancing light pointing above, but we also accept the side of God which can be so difficult for us to accept, the side of “din,” judgement, as a clear part of the giant picture. Certainly from far away we can see that when a society continuously denies God’s presence in our daily lives and is comfortable disgracing His name time and time again, the judgment can seem harsh. In all of my lifetime I have not seen people destroy “sifrei Torah,” deface holy synagogues and even burn down a house of worship, all in the name of “justice” (sic). To those wicked power hungry beings the Houses of Worship are meaningless and have been to them for at least 50 years. Unfortunately, for years they have succeeded in fooling so many of us into believing that they are on the side of righteousness.
For 2000 years as Jewish history repeated itself, whether we were exiled from country to country, from Persia, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Eastern Europe, we didn’t have any place to go home to. Thank God today, as history again returns, as the Holy Torah is alive and the “generation of the flood,” is wielding its wickedness in every direction that it can, we live in The Land that we can now all call home. About that Land the Torah teaches, “The Land that Hashem your God requires you to be there, is the same Land which His eyes are always upon it (Devarim 11.12). As Reb Shlomo taught us when you look at something or someone so special to you, you simply can’t take your eyes off of it. You are always looking. Our awareness of this precious gift of protection which we receive from Hahsem gives us the strength to keep working towards Peace. “Yerushalem,” as Yeshayahu calls it, is the Place which teaches Peace. It is the center of the universe where all light emanates from in this world. Yerushalayim is the focal point of Peace.
We are one family, one nation. We all need each other. We must teach each other and the world the beauty of unity by example. The world is waiting for us to shine. In order for the world to see the light must shine out from the center and beam to all four corners of the earth. We bless you all and beg you to bless us back, with the desire and commitment to please come home now and help us shine.
Hashem will watch over you as you leave and arrive from now and forever (Psalms 121).