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State of my union!

Friday, 8 February, 2019 - 8:14 am

The Constitution states that the President “shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Indeed, on Tuesday, over forty-six-million Americans, including members of both Houses of Congress, watched as President Trump spoke to the nation. This 200+ year-old custom, which started with President George Washington, gives the citizens of our precious union an opportunity to hear where things currently stand in our country; making some happy, some furious and some confused.

In this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, we read about the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the earthly display of the human-Creator relationship. As we ponder the Holy Ark, the Menorah, the Alter, the Showbread and all the other holy furniture, we are taught life lessons. The Ark, housing the Torah, reminds us to stick to G-dly wisdom and not get seduced by other, sometimes appealing, ways of thinking. The Menorah with its seven lamps reminds us to always be a source of light in our tumultuous world. The Alter reminds us the importance of sacrifice/selflessness and the showbread teaches us that all our sustenance is a result of G-d’s kindness.

Every so often, we should pause and ask ourselves, what is the state of my union? What is the state of my relationship with G-d?. Just this morning, while bemoaning a financial challenge, Chavie said to me “Chaim Shaul, you don’t have enough trust in Hashem”. She’s 100% right, but I’m the first to admit that it’s hard. When saying the bedtime Shema, I must ask myself “Chaim, are you learning enough Torah? Are you brightening the world around you? Are you lessening your ego and living selflessly? Are you trusting in the Aibershter for real?”. My union certainly needs some real work to reach healthfulness, how about yours?

In the words of King David “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will bear you”!

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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