Restlessness has been the pretty much constant mood here for me. So I am going with it as a theme for today’s blog.
First, a thought about this Restlessness. It came about from good things – change, growth, breaking down of walls, newness, a sense of adventure that has blossomed from all the above. And it is teaching me a whole new lesson on Patience. (Who’d have thought after 17 years of parenting I would need more lessons on patience? But, alas, we are forever learning…) So this lesson: be with it. Don’t fight it, don’t rush it along, don’t allow the Frustration that is always just below the surface of Restlessness waiting to take over and rear its head. Just be. Restlessness breeds Treasure; it is its predecessor. Just wait for the magic to unfold.
So I am Patiently sitting with Restlessness, keeping Frustration at bay, and waiting.
In the meantime, there are some more profound thoughts that have come my way over the past few days that I wanted to share…
G-d created man. One man. And from that one man came infinite possibilities of how man can be. Incredible. Black, white, Asian, Indian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, tolerant, intolerant, liberal, strict, punctual, habitually late, pro-birth and continuity, living for today – all this was possible from the creation of one man. I heard a lecture the other day by a great Rabbi that was nervous to talk about the theme of what would bring the Jewish nation together to successfully bring about the Messiah = Unity. And the theme of Succot touches on that in a profound way.
We pick up a bundle every day of Succot (except the Sabbath) consisting of a palm branch, a willow, a myrtle branch, and a citrus fruit called the etrog (looks like a lemon with a pointy tip). They are each likened to different types of human beings – those with well developed spiritual and physical/material aspects, those with only well developed physical/material, those with only well developed spiritual sides, and those with neither. That is the conglomeration of mankind. And those of us in one group have an easier time getting along with those in the same group. We tend to be intolerant and judgemental of those in other groups. We do not understand them. And what is the point this Rabbi made in his speech? What, in essence, are we doing on Succot when we pick up this bundle every morning and bless on it? We are saying: G-d created us all. We are all part of the same team. If we all came together and talked, we would all find the commonality among us, and be friends. We would love and tolerate each other. We just, first, need to come together. To have opportunity to be bundled together so we can talk without judgement.
The Rabbi talks about a story where men from different walks of Judaism are together in the hospital synagogue – all brought together because of illness in their family. They were unified in what made them all the same – they were all going through similar experiences. That unified them. That brought them together. They did not argue about their differences. They did not discuss the various opinions that could start a war. They found peace in understanding. They understood each other’s plights and that bred peace and love and compassion.
That is a microcosm of the world. If we only could come together on the points we all share, what makes us the SAME, we would perhaps be able to look past our differences and love each other for that which makes us all human. We are, after all, all from the same man.
And on a different note…(to keep the theme of restless on point here :) ...
There is an actual commandment during the holiday of Succot that does not exist anywhere else in the Torah. We are commanded to be happy. This is a much discussed topic, as many feel it strange that G-d could actually command us to feel something. Isn’t feeling a byproduct of that which is going on in our lives, and how we are interpreting it? Then how can we always be happy for 7 whole days? How can we experience each situation that happens as happy –and feel happy – no matter what?
This year, I looked at it from a whole new dimension. As I touched on last week, this is a time of being in touch with the unique blueprint of life that G-d mapped out for each of us. So it goes as follows: we recognize that G-d created us. He created our blueprints. He created everything that we each need in our lives in order to reach the apex of that building that is being created with the blueprint. He gives us nudges in the right direction if we go off course. He creates lessons for us on the way, to teach us everything we need to know. We meet just the right people to help teach us these lessons, or to practice these lessons on. And when we align ourselves with that, when we strive every day to follow that blueprint, to learn our lessons, to surrender to G-d as the Pilot and not the co-pilot, then we are doing that which G-d wants us to do.
And where does that lead us? Into the Jewish New Year knowing we are doing our best to live our best lives. We take stock of where we have moved off course and check in with our GPS. Then we go into the High Holy Days Fast and we ask forgiveness for trying to interfere with His plans, for going off course sometimes, for hurting people along the way, for the ability to forgive the people that have hurt us while they were teaching us our lessons and learning their own.
And then we reach Succot – just four days later and at the Full Moon. And we are, not by commandment, but by natural consequence, HAPPY. Because we see our blueprint. We strive to be aligned with it always. We see the Love of G-d in all we encounter. And we feel whole. That is Happiness.
And that is my blessing to you. May your happiness be a natural consequence of the life you live. May you embrace all mankind with the knowledge that we are all the same, on some level, and allow that to be the force that brings us together. May you recognize restlessness as a gift of change, and feel the excitement - as a treasure is being delivered in its wake.
With love and deep appreciation of you all,
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