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I'm a Zionist through Fire & Water!

Friday, 4 January, 2019 - 9:03 am

Yes, I’ve always loved our homeland Israel, but this week, Chavie and I, along with our four younger children, made our inaugural visit to Utah’s Zion National Park. As we gazed at the rock formations and colors, I kept humming the words to a Yiddish song I cherish “Don’t tell G-d how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your G-d is”.  Breathtaking, awe-inspiring and spectacular are just words and don’t truly do justice to what one experiences in Zion. It’s a place that turns agnostics into believers and the “I’m not a nature person” people, into folks screaming “I love nature”.

It touches the essence of our being.

Interestingly, just hours before entering the park, I started my day, as I try to everyday, studying Chassidic philosophy and this discourse, by Divine Providence, began with Isiah’s words “Zion shall be redeemed through justice and her captives through tzedakah”. In it, our Rebbe of blessed memory, teaches that Zion in Hebrew means a Siman, a sign, referring to essence of the soul, which is indescribable and incomprehensible and can only be referenced through intimation. How can one redeem his/her Zion? How can one reveal their essence so that it brightens their expressive self? For that there is Justice, which is the study of Jewish law which is justice epitomized and acts of Tzedakah to those who need it most. Our personal Zion wants to impact us, practically, in the day to day, but for that to happen it needs nourishment, which is provided through intense study and selfless acts of service of others.

In this week’s Torah portion, Va’eria, we read how G-d administered the first seven, of the ten, plagues. We can choose to see the plagues as angry punishments or as wake up calls to change. G-d isn’t into punitive sentencing; He is into helping us fix our ways and sometimes that beckons tough love. Chavie and I got a call while leaving Zion that due to the frigid temperatures in Bozeman and actions unrelated to us, a few pipes burst in our home and caused some heavy damage. We could’ve blown up and blamed the whole world and G-d for this ordeal, but we chose, through meditation and working it through, to recognize that Hashem has a plan and if this is the only way to get two bedrooms remodeled courtesy of the insurance company, then we need to be grateful for the flooding.

Liberate Zion; one meditation at a time!

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

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