by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
In the middle of kriyas haTorah on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, 5770 (the Jewish year), rain fell across Israel.
The children ran from shul (synagogue) and danced in the rain. The olim (new immigrants) among us wondered "why is everyone laughing and smiling and letting their kids get soaked in the rain?"
Why indeed. This past year was hard on the Holy Land. The land has been dry, very very dry. Some fields are not being planted, public lawns are dead, and numerous brush fires with blackened ground cover the hills...
As we prayed for a good year and a good judgment, as we crowned the King of kings, rains of blessing fell upon the land. It drizzled, then poured for a little while, then cleared up. 30 minutes later the same cycle repeated.
As we headed to mincha with Rosh Hashanah nearing it's end, the western sky literally glowed orange and pink and purple, with clouds and sunlight intermingling and reflecting off the sea in the distance - perhaps the most beautiful sky I have ever seen.
Yes, there's what to worry about in this new year. My dear brothers and sisters, we do not live in a time of navi'im (prophets), nor perhaps even in a time of great and wise leaders of our nation (whether speaking of the religious or the secular). But some messages are loud and clear and do not require deep interpretation.
In the aseres yemay tshuva, the ten days of repentance, it is indeed a time for teshuva. A time to return, a time to reconnect with Hashem. A time to regret the past and make a better tomorrow...
But here's the thing. A better tomorrow doesn't just happen all by itself. WE must take the steps to improve it. WE must do things just a little bit better tomorrow, and a little more the day after. NOT better in our own best logical guessing, but in the ways of the Torah and of G-d. A good deed, a mitzvah, avoidance of negative actions, charity, helping others. And in our day and time, standing up proudly for G-d, His Torah, and the Holy Land.
The message is clear my friends. There are no sidelines in this one. And we have NO ONE upon whom to rely EXCEPT our Father in Heaven.
(Photos courtesy of IsraelNationalNews and Sultan Knish.)
Monday, September 21, 2009
// 9/21/2009 //