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It's ok to be pure!

Friday, 8 October, 2021 - 8:25 am

Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting with Benefis Health System CEO John Goodnow along with some of the hospital board members in Great Falls. Mr. Goodnow, who I had spent time with the night before, said to me “Rabbi, tell them about the immersion pool”, referring to the conversation we had about Mikvah. So, over a delicious Kosher lunch, I sat talking about the Mitzvah of family purity with a group of gentiles, who were mesmerized by the idea and grateful for my openness to talk about the Jewish approach to intimacy.

In this week’s Torah portion, Noach, we read about a world overtaken by immorality and valuelessness. G-d asks “His guy” Noah to build an ark, a large boat, to save those who would earn the gift of life. He was building for one-hundred-and-twenty years trying to convince people of the impending flood, but living immorally was so addictive, so tempting, so attractive, that people chose drowning in the flood over making better choices. It’s a sad state of the human condition, choosing harm to ourselves, deliberately, despite knowing we can do better.

Chassidus explains that the forty days and nights of the flood was like a universal Mikvah, which needs to be measured at forty Se’ah, a Halachic measurement for liquids. G-d concluded that the world needed a purification, a recalibration of its holiness, and so He shut down the world He created and re-opened it after the flood with a renewed vision for, and belief in, humanity. Purity isn’t a bad word, it doesn’t mean unclean or bad; it means you are experiencing a moment of spiritual malfunction or disenfranchisement, and Hashem in His infinite kindness gave you a way to get back on board.

Be pure, it’s popular with G-d!

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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