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G-d, we need Advil!

Friday, 16 August, 2019 - 8:53 am

Sunday evening, as I stood in Shul for a beautiful Mincha Minyan commemorating Tisha B’Av, my head was splitting. It was one of the worst headaches I can recall, and I couldn’t wait for the fast to end. When the headache finally subsided close to midnight, I realized that the desperation I felt for an end to my personal suffering, is how we are all meant to feel about the exile. We say “Blessed are You…. Who comforts Zion and rebuilds Jerusalem”, but we are tired of the prayer and are seeking that G-dly reality; we want the spiritual water and caffeine that will get rid of our collective headache.

This week is endearingly called “Shabbat Nachamu”, the “Shabbat of Comfort”, as we read Isaiah’s prophecy that foretells better days “Console, console My people," says your God…. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the Lord spoke… Like a shepherd who tends his flock, with his arm he gathers lambs, and in his bosom he carries them, the nursing ones he leads… Lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these, who takes out their host by number; all of them He calls by name…”. It’s a deeply comforting message that has reminded Jews for some 2,600 years that exile isn’t permanent, and that our ultimate, when we are living a holy life in the Holy Land, unburdened by strife, war, hunger and stress, with full access to unfettered spirituality, will come about sooner than later.

Yes, every Mitzvah we do, every moment we connect with G-d, inches us closer to that era, but today I take the liberty to turn the tables on G-d: Dear G-d, in Lamentations we read “Restore us to You, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old.”. In our daily prayers we combine Psalm 25 and 130 and recite “O God, redeem Israel from all its troubles. And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.” We’ve been working hard to do our part, but it’s high time for You to bring about that Messianic change we’ve all been waiting for, without any preconditions or expectations of us. Your people who You entrusted at Sinai to live Your Torah and brighten Your world, have been doing just that for over 3,000 years! Our Jewish headache, or better yet, migraine, has been rough, and today I, Chaim Shaul Ben Chana Leah, demand that You provide the ultimate Advil and bring about the comfort You’ve promised just like that. Just do it!

I’m waiting; don’t procrastinate!

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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