Tradition teaches us that Moses ascended onto Mount Sinai on the first of Elul, forty days later the People of Israel received the Torah. Throughout these forty days the Israelites’ faith was tested, their level of spiritual connectivity and faith weakened by their unanswered cries to Moses and to God – in a way mirroring God’s unanswered cries to God’s People.
It has been a while since I have seen, spoken, or corresponded with many of you – and yet friendship is magnificent in its ability to pick up and continue from where it left off…
The past few months have been somewhat challenging; upon graduating and receiving smicha (ordination) from the Jewish Theological Seminary, we spent the better part of our summer trying to figure out where our next chapter begins. We interviewed for jobs and researched communities in Israel and in NYC – and made some tough decisions.
It’s not easy making tough decisions; life is complex, the consequences of our actions out-of-reach and often unexpected. And so our desire for security, comfort, and routine takes precedence – we fill in this void with meaningless distractions and objects. But why not take a moment to live within that tension – the tension that often accompanies tough decisions? I believe that these specific points in our lives find us most engaged with what is important and meaningful, we cry out in joy and sorrow to the power beyond our reach – for some guidance.
I pray that during these days leading to Rosh HaShanna & Yom Kippur we all take this period of time that has been set for us, and like the Shofar’s cry we too cry out to God, awaken our souls and take on all the complexities and tough decisions life has to offer. Through this tension driven struggle, it is the Source of Life, God that dwells within each one of us that answers our call.
My family’s next chapter begins where the last ended, in NYC.
in peace and blessings –
— Rabbi Leor Sinai