Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Friday, June 3rd
Light Candles at 20:46
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Shabbat, June 4th,
Shabbat Ends 22:41
Torah Portion: Bechukotai
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?
Rabbi Yanky Klein
This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM