Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'd Rather Wallow In It

Last week, I had a lengthy interview in a very, very non-Jewish environment. The position for which I was interviewing is an excellent one, well-suited for my professional skills and education.
Nevertheless, I felt incredibly sad to think that Hashem pulled me from a profoundly Jewish environment to the point where I am interviewing for jobs that are so, so far from the Jewish community.

This job search process has truly been an opportunity to develop emuna. I have no hard feelings towards my previous employer. They treated me as respectfully as possible under the circumstances and I recognize, with my newly developing sense of emuna, that they were shlichim for Hashem's intention that I move on.

Books (my favorite way of enhancing my spiritual growth) that strengthen my emuna muscles are suddenly "appearing" in my life. On my 16th day of unemployment, I have extra time to read and learn and find that the new ideas I am learning interlock.

Hashem runs the world. Hashem has the power to give us everything we need and prayer is the key to unlock Hashem's storehouse. If we pray for the things which we truly desire, Hashem has the capacity to provide them to us. What is withheld from us is withheld in order that we pray and ask Gd, to further demonstrate for us that Hashem runs the world.

Besides learning and strengthening my emuna, I also have time to have lunch with friends. I have a small collection of women friends with whom I can long for Israel. I realized, with some sense of irony, that all of them, all of us, are either ba'alot teshuva or converts. Not sure what that means, but I suspect that it's not coincidental.

The longing for Israel, and for geula, is intensifying as time goes on. As I build emuna, I try to find a way to understand why I have to stay in America for five more years. Obviously, I understand the pshat reason. But what is Gd's reason for keeping me here when so many around me are able to leave?

I sat in front of the computer this week, looking at the pictures Jacob Richman took of the arrival of the most recent aliyah flight, and tears rolled down my cheeks. Why them? Which really means, why not me? Why don't I get to go?

Am I contradicting myself? If I believe (and I really do) that Hashem runs the world and it is His will that I remain in America for now, am I allowed to feel sad that I have to look for yet another job in America? Does my belief that Hashem wants me here for now invalidate my right to cry because I cannot leave yet?

A man with whom I have a long-standing, close relationship told me recently that he deletes all the emails I send him about Israel. He also longs to be in Israel, but his family circumstances prevent him from making that move now. So he deletes my emails because it's too painful for him to face his longing.

Me?

I'd rather wallow in it.

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