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Numbing the pain!

Friday, 11 February, 2022 - 2:33 pm

On Tuesday, we took three of our kiddos to renew their passports and Chana Laya refused to take her photo. Something about taking pictures seems to always trigger her, making her uncomfortable. It took bribes, two creative parents, the kindness of a USPS employee, to get it done. A day later, Chavie and I were having a deep discussion about a potential reality that is emotionally painful for us.  It became clear that I don’t like pain, it makes me super uncomfortable, and I prefer suppression to feeling its rawness.

In this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, we read about the bells that would jingle from the bottom of the High Priest’s cloak. On Yom Kippur, he was wearing his white linen garments, but the rest of the year he made a noisy entry. The Rebbe explains that the High Priest represented all Jews, not just the spiritual perfectionists who devote themselves in quietude to G-d, but even the average Jew who is drowning in the waters of temptation and crying for help.  The loud jingling bells reminded the Kohan Gadol that his role is way bigger than serving just those who are like him.

All living creatures experience pain. We wish it didn’t exist, we prefer calmness, happiness, and wholesomeness, but pain is a reality. Some become addicts to numb their pain, a few become religious zealots to cover up their inner struggle, and some, like me, suppress it, hoping that if we hide from it, it will go away. It’s a mistake. G-d loves us in the pain, G-d is holding our hand in the struggle, and G-d asked His High Priest to always remember us as we tread water, trying to survive the drowning waves.

Chavie and I are here for you; don’t go it alone!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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