Saturday, April 11, 2020

... And Now I Sit And Quietly Wait




It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
- Eicha (Lamentations 3:26)


For much more than a decade, I have been speaking of the impending geula, the Final Redemption, the era of peace and the permanent ascension of the spiritual over the physical.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, I searched and searched for the spiritual significance of the unfolding events, certain that it was connected to God advancing the messianic redemption. The more I searched, the more I found.

This and these and also that are part of God's great calculus, why He brought such a plague to the world and what we are meant to take from it, how it is preparing us for the era of Moshiach and how our lives will change for the better.

These investigations have been meaningful and have helped me set a plan for myself, to determine how I am going to move forward through these times.

In truth, my investigations remind me very much of my experience in Torah study. We understand that each verse in the Torah exists on multiple levels; its meaning is never just the literal understanding of the text. The more I delve into a particular Torah text, the more and deeper meanings I uncover, to the extent that Hashem graces me with the ability to perceive anything about His sublime Torah.

Similarly, the more I look into what message Hashem is sending with this pandemic, the more I understand that there is no one message, no single reason, no unitary conclusion we are all meant to derive. Except maybe this.

The world has a Creator and a Sustainer and He is asking us to recognize that this is all from His Hand.

Shabbat recently ended in Israel. I spent much more of it in prayer and Torah study than I used to. As Hashem's hashgacha pratit (personal Divine supervision) would have it, I have been studying Sefer Yeshayahu (Isaiah) with my local Tanach study group. Yeshayahu speaks in poetic language, for which I require extensive commentary, so that I can understand his prophecies. He also speaks, more than any other Biblical prophet, about the messianic era.

These last few weeks, I sense that I have been speaking fewer words than I used to. And that  gives me more time to focus on the world that Hashem created, to notice things I am usually too busy to take note of.

Today, I sat on my couch, facing Jerusalem, and watched the clouds blow by through the windows in our living room. For 5780 years, Hashem has been moving clouds in the sky, and, for the most part, at least since I was a child, I have been too preoccupied to focus on the way the sky constantly changes.

I took a sip of cold water from a cup and was able to focus my attention on the miracle of being able to coordinate my lips and my tongue and my throat to be able to drink. I marveled at the fact that I have, at my disposal, a virtually limitless supply of fresh, cold water to slake my thirst.

The cup and the clouds were meditations to me, reminding me to notice all the gifts Hashem bestows upon me, literally at every moment, for which I have been, in the main, too overloaded to observe.

I believe, no less than I did before, in the greatness and the power of Hashem and in His ability to bring the Final Redemption. I believe, no less than I did before, in the likelihood that the changes COVID-19 has wrought are meant to bring us closer to the day when the Moshiach will be revealed and he can get on with the work of building the Third and final Temple in Jerusalem, of bringing the rest of the Jews back to Israel and to Torah, of bringing peace to the whole world and all the other promises of the Messianic era.

What's changed is that I have taken a deep breath and convinced myself that my work now is to sit and quietly wait. To turn inward. To pray. To study. To contemplate. To notice.

Those who know me in real life know that this is a chidush - a novel approach for me. I, who have spent a lifetime shouting from rooftops, am feeling humbled by the massive power Hashem has turned loose in the world.

In this, I am with Yeshayahu haNavi who said, "
And I will wait for the Lord, Who hides His countenance from the House of Jacob and I will hope for Him." (8:17)

For all my hubris, I know nothing.

And now I sit and quietly wait.

2 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

This is a lovely meditation, taking me for a few moments out of my physical aches and pains (brought on, I suspect, by not finding the correct new formula for activity for this challenging new reality). Your sense of waiting feels appropriate, just as your passion leading up to the waiting felt appropriate. Thank you for inviting us to both. Your writing is lovely!

Rahel F Adye said...

Resonant indeed....it is time for that next leap. A rabbi we know says, "There really is no virus. It is simply and expression of what He wants to accomplish." I am aware that though many are not ill, b'H, with this plague, there are myriad small sufferings: toothaches, sinus headaches, chronic coughs, running out of money. A friend of mine, who was expecting a payment from another country for work done here, said, when the money didn't come when needed told me that it is when you enter Shabbat with 3 kids and 200 shek that you really take that leap and discover that He provides, somehow. And you know He will and you are free.