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The Sin of Frostbite!

Friday, 11 March, 2022 - 9:00 am

On Monday, Chavie and I enjoyed a two-hour dog sledding experience out in the back country terrain of Moonlight Basin. With below zero temperatures outside, we were freezing cold. I was literally shivering with chattering teeth and Chavie thought her toes would need to be amputated. When we got to the half point, they offered all fourteen participants non-Kosher hot chocolate and cookies, leaving us, the amateurs, with only one option: move our bodies, walk, jog in place, any movement, increasing blood circulation and warming ourselves up.

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, the first in the Book of Leviticus, we read about various mistakes, transgressions, for which a person is obligated to bring a sin or guilt offering. Judaism doesn’t condemn people to “eternal hell” because of our mistakes, it doesn’t cancel people because we’ve made horrible choices; we give people hope, a chance to return, a path forward, and an opportunity to repair the damage we’ve inflicted on our fellow human and onto our own soul. Our mistakes are so often a result of us freezing up, getting stuck, and hoping those toes will thaw on their own without us making the effort to warm them.

As the sled driver took us through some of the most picturesque areas in Madison County, I turned my gratitude to our dear friends Mick and Holly, who gave me this adventure for my 40th birthday. Like with each moment in life, this unique experience taught me so much. We certainly could’ve been slightly more prepared for the frigid Big Sky weather, especially because we couldn’t rely on the piping hot chocolate, but Chavie and I had each other and the inner gift of biology, moving those legs, wiggling those toes, and using instinct to endure, and enjoy, the journey.

Don’t let stuckness bring you spiritual frostbite, just warm yourself up!

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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