DAY 1111: A Very Bright Future

July 16, 2015
By bethmordecai
no comments.

DAY 1111: A Very Bright Future

Dear Hevreh,

Over the past few years, the threats and tumult of tunnels, rockets, bombs, and mayhem has not only terrorized the physical well being of the State of Israel, but the consciousness of the Jewish people worldwide. Our minds are tuned into the latest threat with a kind of tunnel vision that is fueled by black and white images of ghettos and gas chambers. How can we focus on anything else when our existence seems to be in constant peril.

The radicalness of Shabbat is that no matter the gravity of our physical danger, every seventh day a moment of rest beckons us to change our focus from the anxieties of our outer life to the needs of our inner life. Yes, if we are in physical danger on Shabbat we may violate its laws, but the spirit of Shabbat never ceases to be present to remind us that our physical dangers should never overwhelm us. The n’shamah y’teira, the extra Shabbat soul that fills us with a contemplative spirit, is constantly present awaiting us to find it even if we don’t feel we should.

This week we witnessed the achievement of one of the most historic international agreements of our time, an agreement that could potentially tear the Jewish people apart. Our belief that kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh, that “all of Israel is responsible for one another,” will be severely tested over the coming two months as the debate heats up on what many see as the latest existential threat to the Jewish people, the nuclear deal with Iran. In this debate, will we see each other as brothers and sisters who can have respectful disagreements? Or will we see each other as traitors, whether it’s to our people or to our nation (or both)? There is a need to discuss, to talk about the issues, and understand how we as a people and individually as persons can respond.

And we will engage in that conversation. For our community we will begin that conversation online and continue during Wednesday’s SPECIAL Ask the Rabbi: Let’s Talk About the Iran Deal. 

But on Shabbat, by our beautiful bay, we put that need to address our anxieties on hold, to remind us that our outer, physical dangers will never overwhelm us, as long as our inner, spiritual needs are given space to breathe.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks

Photo taken from — “Negotiations about Iranian Nuclear Program – Foreign Ministers and other Officials of P5+1 Iran and EU in Lausanne” by United States Department of State – . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Category : American Jewish News Ask the Rabbi Israeli News Rabbi Rabbi's Journal
Tag :