Monday, October 27, 2014
The Pain of Exile
When I go to sleep at night, my head points towards Jerusalem. By bus, I can be at the Kotel in under an hour. By car, in even less time. My family members are all healthy and, to varying degrees, thriving. My best friend is also my husband. There is food in my refrigerator and money in my bank account. My brain and body function as they should and my soul is awake and striving. I am very blessed and I know it.
At the same time, there is a deep pain in the world. More accurately, there are many pains, many assaults on my peace of mind. The world is at the mercy of hateful, irrational, murderous enemies. Politicians would like to see my people disappear off the face of the earth. A threatening, worldwide epidemic swirls around us, as does the peril of global economic collapse. So many people hate my people. I can't bear to read the news anymore. Just scanning the headlines make me nauseous.
Among the Jews, each day I see new evidence of an alarming, treacherous imbalance of masculine and feminine spiritual energy, leading to all manner of corruption, exploitation and abuse. Much of it in the name of religious sanctity. Feh! On this point, I have restrained myself from writing more, fearing opening Pandora's box and creating an avalanche of ill will towards God and the Torah.
When I talk to my husband about these manifold pains of exile, he reminds me to look upon all this heaviness with my geula vision. So I tap into the part of me that connects with the approaching redemption of the Jewish people. I remind myself that, at the End of Days, we are being asked to give up our belief in any power other than Hashem. We must be cleansed of all idolatrous doctrines. In order to be ready to receive the power of a God-centered universe, we must cease having faith in any authority other than Hashem.
The pain of exile weighs awfully heavily on me some days. But then I remember that we're in the midst of Hashem doing His best to get us there quickly. All the chaos is meant to demonstrate that there is nothing to rely on besides Him.
When I remember, I whisper, "Ein od milvado." There is nothing, there is no one to rely on except God.
And my soul is soothed.
Posted by Rivkah Lambert Adler at 10:15 AM