Just Because

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, June 3rd Light Candles at 20:46

Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30 Shabbat, June 4th, Shabbat Ends 22:41 Torah Portion: Bechukotai

Just Because Think before you act. I think that’s a good principle for life; it’s one I teach to my kids. But it doesn’t always apply. When I awake at night to the sound of my baby crying in feverish pain, do I pause for calculations? Do I weigh my options, balancing the inconvenient awakening with the distinct possibility that I may need this kid when I’m a geriatric? Nah. I just jump out of bed. Why? Just because. Because I share a special relationship with my baby, a deep connection that defies description. When he calls, that extraordinary bond beckons, and I need to respond. So I jump out of bed, sans intellectual analysis. Just because. Is it rational? Not really. But it's not irrational either. Let's call it super-rational. I rationally understand that this relationship has tremendous depth. My intellectual analysis confirms that this is a safe and intimate connection. When I genuinely feel safe in a relationship, when I can truly let my guard down, I can confidently move upward into the transcendent world of super-rationality, love etc. The same applies to my marriage, and – perhaps in differing degrees - to any other deep, safe relationship. I feel that way with G-d, too. When I contemplate a Jewish practice, I want to understand its contribution to my life and my destiny; I want to appreciate how it elevates my consciousness and/or improves my day. But that understanding and appreciation isn’t an absolute prerequisite. I feel safe enough with G d, confident enough in the rock-solid stability of our relationship, to do a Mitzvah ‘just because’. Actually, doing something for a loved one ‘just because’ (super-rationally as distinct from irrationally) adds a special flavor to the recipe of our relationship. It says ‘I trust you’. It says ‘I love you’. Doing something for G-d ‘just because’ lays an extraordinary element to the bond we share. It says ‘I’m yours’ and ‘I surrender’. So even when I can find personal benefit in my interaction with a loved one, I should always try to find a shining ‘just because’ at its core. Because commitment without a ‘just because’ is commitment of my mind and actions, but not commitment of my soul. For some relationships that’s enough, and for some relationships it isn’t. Why did G-d create the world that way? Just because. Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Yanky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father R' Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM