Friday, September 22, 2006

Shana Tova

A few nights ago, I had a nightmare. I dreamed that my year-and-a-half year old son drowned in the bath. It was one of those dreams where you are sure it is really happening. I still vividly recall his blue tinged lips and his paste colored face.

While I was dreaming, I am sure that my brain went through similar if not identical thoughts as if the situation was really happening. When I woke up, the pain and distress were so powerful! I thanked G-d for the יסורין, and accepted it as a punishment for sins.

On Rosh Hashanna, we will read about Akedat Yitzchak. I think a fundamental lesson from this ultimate test of Isaac and Abraham is that our usual charge in this world is to live for G-d, not to die for Him. However, only through a sincere willingness to die for G-d can we come to truly live our lives for Him constantly, and escape the common egotism and selfishness that permeates the lives of so many. A readiness to die for G-d concretizes an ability to live for Him. It also gives us the strength to die for Him if ever the need arise.

Abraham and Isaac were given the terrible oppritunity to act out their willingness (when they knew beyond doubt that it is G-d's command). Their tale is immortalized, and we are to glean strength and courage from it. However, in order to internalize this lesson, we must spend the time to go through the emotional steps to be willing to die for G-d, as well as we can. Much like my nighmare of yester-night, we must allow ourselves to experience the emotional and mental activity, as if we really are dying for G-d. We can then apply the resulting emotions to our everyday lives, to live for Him.

May this year be a year of continued growth for each of us as an individual. May we all find happiness and comfort, and may all our desires be fulfilled in the best way possible.

May our Nation develop in a positive manner. May we deserve good leaders, and may our country enjoy peace and prosperity through security and strength. May we move forward into the redemption, and may our brothers and sisters return to G-d.

May our desire to live come from a fundamental, honest wish to live for G-d, and make our actions pleasing to Him. May we not simply crave life for personal, selfish or egotistical reasons. May our relization of G-d's gifts to us, such as family, friends, comfort, and wealth, spur us to greater heights in our service, and not, Heaven forbid, to 'וישמן ישורון ויבעט'. May we justify our creation and continued existance, and may we validate the fact that G-d created us. May we be successful experiments in the great laboratory of Man's Free Will.

I ask forgiveness of anyone who I may have slighted. I truly am sorry, and have resolved to make my comments on blogs less personal, more enlightened, and full of love. In the 'real' world, I resolve to take things less personally, and treat everyone the way I would like to be treated.

May it be His will that this new year usher in the redemption of the world. שנה טובה.