Monday, September 7, 2009
Construction has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with the world's unhealthy obsession with Jewish building. We are taught that everything that happens in history is meant as a lesson for the Jewish people. In last week's parsha we read that many sad and painful things will happen to the Jewish people because we "didn't serve Hashem with simcha" (usually translated as happiness.) It seems kind of strange at a first glance that lack of happiness would warrant such a harsh punishment. In reality though Hashem's punishments are not really punishments but natural consequences. My husband tells me that in in addition to its usual meaning the word simcha also means the feeling of closeness to G-d. So here is what I think. When a Jewish person doesn't feel a close connection to G-d, doesn't appreciate his special role, doesn't see his Jewishness as a gift, then it leads to disintegration of his Jewish identity which then leads to tremendous confusion where he no longer understands why he is special, what his purpose is, doesn't understand why he should fight for his G-d and His Torah, his people and his land. Because really it's His People and His Land. When that is the sad state of affairs that a Jew finds himself in then naturally all kinds of aweful things follow. So one of the things that we can learn from the current events is that our connection to the Land is based on our connection to Hashem. Hashem is the one who is orchestrating the events to get us to go or at least think in the right direction. It seems to me He wants us to think about building in our land, about our connection to our people and to think about the Beis Hamikdash - the ultimate Building, the Home for Hashem's presence. How many people lose sleep over this one? But we should. Hashem is our true friend, He wants us to rely on Him and not pseudo-friends. Our strength lies in our faith. We have to have conviction. Hashem will help us. He wants things to be good for the Jewish people, we have to stop being our own worst enemies. As I am writing this I am listening to one of the neighbors practicing blowing the shofar. May this be the year of blessing and joy for the Jewish people, that will usher in the Ultimate Geulah and the Ultimate Building!!!