Dancing with the Divine
Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Friday, July 29th
Light Candles at 20:23
Shabbat, July 30th,
Shabbat Ends 21:55
Torah Portion: Pinchas
Dancing with the Divine
We’ll take the former.
Think of your most vulnerable moment. A time when your security nets were insufficient, and it seemed like there was no one to catch you. That pit-in-your- stomach despair is a feeling nobody wants to experience.
On the other hand, remember when you were embraced by someone who had the power to handle your problems; someone who loved you and was wholly concerned with your welfare. Like a parent caring for a baby. Safety at its best.
We all want to feel secure. But that feeling brings its own challenge: We usually take it for granted. When a protective power is warding off problems in your life, then – unless it’s before your eyes – you tend to take it in stride. How can you feel saved if you haven’t had an opportunity to internalize the threat? Aside from the lack of thankfulness, we relax our own efforts while basking in the protective shade.
Watch small children. They usually have no idea what we’re doing to protect them, and they take their security for granted. And the more we coddle them, the more we potentially disempower their own efforts at achieving genuine security.
Think of American society pre 9/11. Most of us took our safety from terrorism for granted, and there seemed little need for personal efforts at self-protection. Then we woke up to the truth of our vulnerability.
Safety vs. Vulnerability.
Two poles in our delicate dance with G-d.
G-d is our Rock, our ultimate security. When you genuinely trust G-d, you sleep easier.
Yet we can’t take G-d’s protection for granted. We need to recognize humanity’s intrinsic frailty, thank G-d for His protection, do what we can to help ourselves, and trust the Divine for the future.
Think of the Jews in the desert. They went to bed without any food for the next day (vulnerable). Yet they firmly trusted that the manna would fall the next morning and satisfy their needs.
It’s an important model. The spiritually-connected person doesn’t get up in the morning feeling invincible because G-d will protect him/her. We take pause to recognize every human’s intrinsic vulnerability. Then we thank
G-d for our blessings, and find trust for the future in a loving, protective G-d.
It’s confidence with gratitude and humility.
A great way to live your day.
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein
This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM