Archive for July, 2011
Why did I have to hear this story? So awful, so terrifying?
I don’t want to know about it. I don’t feel elevated by sharing in the pain with the klal right now. I just feel sick and scared and unhappy. The world feels dark and neglected. Why did I have to know about this? I keep thinking: I wish I didn’t know the news.
Why do I have to know? Maybe, Ribbono shel Olam, you’re telling me that I need to know something:
I always feel better when yissurim are directly from Your hand (well, I feel better without yissurim, but when they happen…). When it’s You directly, I can respond to You directly. I know You are interacting with love. But when it is someone else as Your messenger… I don’t feel You so well. My attention is diverted by the wicked, the selfish, the cruel. I don’t handle that well. I don’t know how to deal with people who don’t see that other people have feelings. Even with the small stuff. You know that when I say:
ונא אל תצריכנו ה’ אלוקינו לא לידי מתנת בשר ודם… כי אם לידך…”
…I think that not only that I want the sweet gifts, the “tatzricheinu” that is “provisions”, but also the “neediness”, to be from Your hand, not through a person. I need to feel You there.
Why did I have to know about this story?
Are You telling me that at this time — summer, shemesh, heat, galus, fatigue — there are people who are evil and wicked… but that this is not Your neglect? It is another side of how You interact with us. It is the side I don’t want to see. I only want to see Your sweetness, love and kindness. I don’t want to see punishment, justice, darkness, confusion, terror. I don’t want to imagine the feelings of either family right now.
But there is pain and there are people whom You use as sticks. There are “teikus“, as Rabbi Horowitz puts it. Places where we can’t fathom what the reason is. Places where people suffer, are hurt intentionally, are terrified, are tortured. Moments that seem to defy everything You’ve created the world for.
And somehow, I need to develop in my Emuna and Bitachon enough to be able to embrace you there, as well. To see past the stick to the hand that holds it. And to know that You are holding the stick with all the same infinity of Love and care as when You are clearly present, supporting me.
שבטך ומשענתך המה ינחמני”
I don’t actually think I’m there. No, in fact, I know I’m not there. But maybe that is where You are telling me to go. Maybe that is where you are telling me to grow.
Please, Ribbono shel Olam. Please don’t make me learn this lesson directly. Not through myself, or my family. Not through anyone else, either. Do not turn Your back to us. Do not plunge us into darkness. Hold us in Your hands, cradle us to You, let us rest in the warmth of Your he’aras panim shining on us, and grant us the security to grow and to give to others.
יברכך ה’ וישמרך. יאר ה’ פניו אליך ויחנך. ישא ה’ פניו אליך וישם לך שלום.”
But, yes, don’t hide the message from me. Thank you for telling me that I still have far to go, and for giving me a signpost for the way.