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The Storm That Wasn't!

Friday, 31 July, 2020 - 9:10 am

Earlier this week, parts of Texas were experiencing summer storms, and, though the forecast for San Antonio seemed calm for Monday morning, the clouds over the Airport told another story. As I have a semi-phobia for turbulent flying, I was concerned for the ride over to Salt Lake City. As we took off, I said the usual Travelers Prayer from the Siddur, and awaited the bumps, which never came. The troublesome looking clouds turned out to be a very slim layer of slight bumps, and in mere seconds we were enjoying the brilliantly shining sun and the smoothest of air.

Lesson learned.

Just last night we concluded the Tisha B’Av fast, mourning the destruction of our Holy Temples in Jerusalem. Superficially, demolition seems awful, but if the demolition is to create a newer, fresher, more sturdy structure in its place, then the demolition is super positive and growth oriented. G-d gave way to the destruction, to help us repair ourselves, the world around us and bring about the third, and final, Temple. It is fitting that during this time we read the Torah portion of Va’etchanan in which we are told to “love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might”. Loving G-d with every fact of our complicated being, loving G-d when it costs us financially, loving G-d even to death as so many Jews have done, is all conceivable; but loving G-d with “all my might”, no matter “whatever measure He metes out to you” that seems unbearable. How could I love a Creator who allows me or my loved ones to suffer? To die for G-d, sure, but to live a broken life with Him, how?

As I sat and read Lamentations and reached the words “ the kindnesses of the Lord never cease, Indeed, His mercies never fail ” I felt like I was being uplifted out of my low Tisha B’Av seat. G-d throws curveballs to each of us, they are hard, they are agonizing and sometimes dispiriting. Yet, behind the darkness, above the stormy clouds, there is a light that is bolstered by the challenge. We don’t know G-d’s reasons, but we know the sacred truth that there are reasons and that this relationship, this loving bond, is worth fighting for. Like you, I too struggle, I too wonder “why me, Hashem?”, but I am always reassured that the clouds are temporary and help me appreciate the smooth air and blue skies that follow.

In the words of Helen Keller “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”!

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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