Thursday, August 29, 2013

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War Warning - Return through Love or Fear?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

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There is teshuva from ahava and teshuva from yira.  There is yira ta’taw and yira ili’aw…

With the coming of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we are reminded it’s time to return to Hashem.  We must repent for our misdeeds, put practices in place to avoid doing them in the future, and reconnect with our Father in Heaven.

It’s a simple message of the Jewish holy days. 

There is repentance and reconnection from love and there is repentance and reconnection from fear.  And there is the lower level of fear, real straight FEAR, and the higher level of fear, awe.

We should merit to return to our Father in Heaven due to our wonderful blessings.  Life.  Family.  Health.  Home.  Torah we’ve had the opportunity to learn.  Community.  A modern flourishing of the Jewish people and rebuilding of Israel.  How much do we have to be thankful to our Father in Heaven???  How much must we reach out and return to Him???

But, to our regret, we may not merit this level.  And if we merit it personally, we may not merit it as a people or as a nation (G-d forbid).

Perhaps we can reach the level of awe?  How awesome is the Creator of the Universe?  How awesome is the depths of the human body, the interaction of DNA and RNA?  How incredible are the physical forces, the perfect balance that maintains the structures of the universe?  How awesome and barely comprehendible the forces of quantum physics – perfectly balanced to allow for life and beauty and even love.  Every level we look, incredible complexity, incredible design, perfectly balanced on the tip of a needle for life and love and challenge.  And the gift of intelligence and the gathering of knowledge to use these wonderful balances to our societal advantage with modern technology and medicine and worldly facilities!

But, perhaps it’s too much in our face for us to notice.  Surrounded by the daily miracles of an incredible universe, it’s part of our nature to ignore what we see very day.  If we don’t work at it… we don’t benefit from it.  Except for occasional brief moments, awe takes work and we’re rarely aware of the need.

Then there is FEAR.  In Israel we are told there are 100,000 missiles facing us, our wives, our children.  Many are tipped with chemical warheads – human beings, our own children, targeted like pests to be exterminated.  The horrors of the Holocaust generation to be re-visited.  Any moment, under the control of people on which we have no influence.  Will President Obama attack and Dictator Assad responds by trying to exterminate us?  When?  What are signs?  What should I do?????

And Iran threatens as well, never to be left out of the game of threatening Jews.  Have they achieved nuclear weapons?  Will we, the Jews, be gassed and then burnt like our ancestors just 70 years ago???

What can we do?  Where can we turn?  Run to get a gas mask?  Stock up on what?  What if my child is at school?  Or my wife at work?  Or my son away in his yeshiva (without a bunker or gas mask)?  And against a nuclear threat… there is no earthly place to turn…

…except to our Father in Heaven.

It’s terrifying… and it’s a blessing.  An opportunity for national teshuva – for the Jewish people as a whole to return to G-d.

NOW is the time for REPENTENCE – for PRAYER – and for CHARITY.  No need to wait for Rosh Hashana.  And with our repentance, prayer and charity… may we merit GEULAH.

If you’d like to join our Charity Direct – Direct donations to the poor and needy of the Land of Israel for Rosh Hashana, click here now.  Or click here to learn a bit more.

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