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no bad comes from above!

Thursday, 14 May, 2020 - 10:12 pm

This is the first time in modern history (and perhaps ever) that in most synagogues the entire book of Vayikra (Leviticus) was not read from the Torah.  We went into quarantine as the book was beginning and this week, we conclude the third book of the Torah!  That itself is worthy of reflection.

In the final Torah portion, we read the Divine rebuke, that which will befall us if we do not follow Hashem’s instructions.  It is hard to read and even harder to swallow.
 
Our Sages say, “no bad comes from Above”.  What we experience that seems to be harsh is our inability to see the real good that is in it.  Like a child who is rebuked or punished by a loving parent to put them on the straight and narrow.  Or a parent who takes a child who does not yet understand, to the doctor for their vaccinations.

The child feels the pain and hurt but deep down feels that the parent is doing what is best and it is ultimately coming from a place of love.

This is a “hard Torah portion” because it is truly difficult to find the good in our challenging circumstances.   If we lean into Hashem’s embrace, we are more empowered to find the good in our circumstances and when we do, we know what we need to do to move forward.

Perhaps that is why this Parsha is read at the end of a  Book and we proclaim Chazak Chazak Vinischazek – be strong, be strong and be strengthened!
Because, we need Hashem’s help to navigate the circumstances and to find the strength to make the most of it.

So I say to you Chazak Chazak Vinischazek – be strong, be strong and be strengthened!

Good Shabbos!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

P.S. I feel for those that are struggling, the above is meant to empower you with another set of glasses to look at your circumstances.

I feel fortunate and I believe that my outlook compels me to recognize Hashem first and then ask myself what am I to do with this good fortune.

Do you feel fortunate?

 

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