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Horsing Around in Utah!

Friday, 30 August, 2019 - 8:32 am

Our family just returned from a road trip southern Utah, where we visited Shoshana at the school she attends, just outside Zion National Park. In addition to the academics, the school’s therapeutic component includes Equine Therapy, allowing them to grow through their work with horses. We watched Shoshana impressively interact with her horse, Roman, a horse who experienced great trauma in his youth and whom Shoshana is helping rehabilitate. All in all, the girls at this school, wake up each morning at 5:30 AM and must choose what type of day to have: one with a positive attitude or one with a negative outlook, and that choice determines the trajectory of their day.

This week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, begins with “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse”. The basic understanding of the chapter is that just before his passing, Moses is reminding Jewry that if they choose the path of G-d, a path Jewish observance, it will result in blessing and if they choose an idolatrous path, it won’t end well. Yet, recently I heard a fellow share a novel interpretation: Behold, I set before you today. G-d is telling us that He has gifted us with a new day. Each day is an opportunity for us: either turn it into a blessing by focusing on “now” or, as we do so often, think of our time as unlimited, because there’s “tomorrow” and “next week”, and live "today" fruitlessly. It’s not easy to consciously utilize each day, each moment, but G-d doesn’t shower us with unearned blessings, rather, He gives us the ability to see the blessing in each day, but whether we do or don’t, that’s on us.

I’m no Tzadik and too often I think long term, I stress over the bigger picture and I even miss opportunities to live in the moment because I’m overwhelmed by “everything on my plate”. It’s unhealthy, and perhaps silly, to live this way as along the way to the bigger “stuff”, I miss out on all the amazing blessings that are right here “before me”. Five days and fifteen hundred miles of driving with four kids in the car, can either make one miserable with deep prayer for peace and quiet or we could cherish each – or almost each – moment and enjoy the craziness and the meltdowns, the potty stops and the never ending need for snacks, recognizing that they are kids who are alive, healthy and acting their age, a blessings, a blessing, a blessing.

Don’t let the big picture distract you from the Kodak moments!

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

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