Looking in wonder at the beautiful double rainbow this morning (Friday, just after 7am), and then experiencing the rain, hearing the thunder, and seeing the lightening, I can only acknowledge that there is no earthly power like this. This powerful force is way beyond any human capacity. Of course, I can think of the logical, physical explanations for all the things I can see and experience, but our human abilities are completely dwarfed by this august power. Primitive people long ago would cower in fear of the great gods they imagined were creating all these natural occurrences, so why are we so blasé about it all now?
Well, we began to understand the scientific reasons that made all these seemingly magical activities happen. We humans could explain the logic behind our magnificent world. We no longer needed to fear such magnificent power. Maybe this is why people fear the Jews. Judaic teachings insist that we still need to realize there is an amazing wisdom beneath the surface of all that we see, even though we do recognize the scientific explanations for everything that occurs. We still know, in our heart of hearts, that we could never explain in earthly, scientific terms, why this planet even exists, or why we all live here on its surface, going through all that we keep going through.
Our Judaic ancestors taught us that the wisdom that brought us here, and made us who we are, is still taking care of us, whenever we are able to pay attention to it. Our prophets and sages insisted that we have to take notice, to make time, every Sabbath, as well as during the week, to acknowledge this higher wisdom, because it takes a great amount of time to connect with this amazing love that is carefully hidden within our hearts.
I believe that the rest of the world is jealous of such a connection as this. Some have gone on to discover it for themselves, and some even think that they can claim we no longer have it, but this is the kind of connection that can never leave us. We can be grateful to those among us who have always known and always continued to honor this wisdom throughout our two thousand years of exile.
So now, with all the craziness that is happening in the world and in the United States at this time, we have to wake up to the blessings that were given to us so many thousands of years ago. We have to learn how to live in the teachings of our sages until we come to realize, once again, that we were given a gift that is the greatest blessing anyone could receive. We have to understand that the Torah is giving us the truth, even though this truth is hidden within the stories we read in every week’s parshah.
We are promised peace: “If you will follow My decrees and observe My commandments and perform them, then I will provide your rains in their time … and you will dwell securely in your land. I will provide peace in the land, and you will lie down with none to frighten you.” (Lev.26:3-6)
Ghandi is known to have said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Judaism demands even more of us: to transcend the physical aspects of the world, while still being in a physical body. This is clearly not a simple matter, but it is what we are designed to ultimately do. Our halachic guidelines have taught us the required behavior to begin our transcendence while still keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground. But this was just a beginning. We now need to understand in more detail the greater plan for our planet, which will give us a more harmonious, cooperative way to experience and enjoy our lives here on earth.