I have had struggles with my faith, with Judaism, over the last year. But now, even after the passing of the High Holidays, of Sukkot, of Shiminei Atzeret, of Simchat Torah, I find myself drawn back to the Torah, to the words of the sages, the commentators, the rabbis, and the beauty of living in the mercy of Hashem.
Because as we watch once more the walls of a civilization crumble around us, we are reminded that the kingdom of man is an illusion, and the only real kingdom is the Kingdom of G-d.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
(Morpheus, from The Matrix)
I shall raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come? My help is from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Tehillim 121, 1-2)
I believe that G-d wants us to find the joy in wonder in every moment of our lives.
Might it be that the more we give ourselves permission to be in that state of joy and wonderment, the closer we will be to Hashem?
(U.S. Air Force photo/Lance Cheung)
There are countless points during a man’s life when he is compelled to choose between doing what is right for himself and what is right for others – family, friends, the people you love, your community, your country, and sometimes complete strangers. The correct choice, almost without exception, is to choose what is right for others.
Almost without exception.
R. Hillel famously wrote “if I am not for myself who will be for me. And if I am only for myself, what am I?”
The essence of wisdom is being able to recognize the exception and knowing without a doubt that the choice for oneself is not glandular or rationalized, but true to a code that transcends both our petty desires and our ability to manipulate them.