Rachel Shifra Tal
Catching up with God
This year our entire planet has been turned upside down! A year ago Rosh Hashanah, words like, social distancing, contract tracing, and alert levels were not part of the world's words. This small virus — which interestingly, looks like a crown — has literally brought the entire planet to a standstill. No one knows why, but we all know that the world seems and feels irrevocably changed. Frozen in place in our homes and bubbles it seems the world was forced to take stock. The past couple of decades the world has seemed to be speeding up. The technological booms have rolled out at breakneck pace. Things and inventions in sci-fi movies have become household products! Medical science has exploded! Just a century ago we were blood letting for health; now we can give someone a 3d printed organ! Communication across the globe has skyrocketed with the introduction of the internet and global networks. People can see across the world in real time! Not only that! You can fly across the planet in hours or days in a journey that once took months and you might not even have survived the trip! We live in the sky in high-rise buildings, we have indoor plumbing, and heating AND cooling! Babies that would have had no chance at life if born early are able to live and we can even sort out a fetal health issue in the womb! People who previously couldn't have children have incredible technology to increase their chances. We know more people, can reach a global community, and the vastness of knowledge about our world and bodies is literally at our fingertips. It is an incredible and astounding time to be alive! The gates of wisdom have been thrown open and knowledge has sped up and is pouring into the world. The Jewish world is also incredible! We have sovereignty in our homeland for the first time in thousands of years! We have our own government and army and the Israeli intelligence unit is one of the most respected in the world. We are on the stage with gigantic world leaders, us! This itsy bitsy country so small on a map you need to write Israel in the Mediterranean sea to label it! And to be a Jew! Kosher food is on main supermarket shelves! Kosher restaurants! We have a digital connection and all of Torah is online! You can download all of Shas on your phone! In literally any language! Even 70 years ago owning Jewish books was reserved for the wealthy and lucky few! You can download apps that teach you how to speak Hebrew and YouTube is filled with Torah classes and Jewish music! There are entire clothing lines that produce modest clothing, you can even have a personalized kippah and Tallit! Jewish organizations and Gemachs, outreach and programs for all ages and interests are there! We have a global youth movements! Incredible! Not only is it incredible, I am blown away at the world!!!!! Here we sit. Just a few days before Rosh Chodesh Elul. What a year we have had! In less than 100 days the planet was frozen in time for months, unable to move forward. We all were forced to stop, slow down and take stock. This entire month, G-D enters the field. The gates of prayer are thrown open! We are able to access a private audience so to speak with G-D, more connected than any other time of year! Have you ever planned a conversation with someone? What about when you meet a long-time mentor or a person you admire? I have had a few opportunities to meet people I greatly admire. In those moments, I have hours of thought and time leading up to what I want to say or ask. Here is the Creator of the universe! Stepping into the field! We are in a extraordinary time and are facing as a human race a tremendous challenge. “Why?” isn't the question. “Why” will drive us mad. What I think you would agree that these past months have brought up for everyone is, what is important? What values do we hold? And most importantly, what do we want? I invite you to take the time this month. Sit in the field with G-D and really have a conversation. If you are angry, let G-D know, G-D can handle our emotions, good or bad. If you are heartbroken, cast your pain into Hashem's arms. Scream out for humanity! Pray for a better year. What you can ask for and pray for on behalf of our planet is literally how much imagination you have! If you can dream it up, G-D most certainly can bring it about! We need to expand our prayer capacity to keep up with the incredible world we are living in. Just as one minuscule invisible virus can bring the entire planet to a halt, so too can salvation! This world is missing a strong G-D presence. Just think how incredible the planet could be with the morality and ethics of G-D applied! We have the capacity to cure world hunger, there is enough money in circulation in the world that all of humanity could get enough to eat. What needs to be installed in this world is the beautifully crafted ethics of Judaism and a space for G‑D. Then. Wow! What a world!
Chodesh Tov! May we be all written in the book of life and health!