Still clinging on

Waking up this morning was a real shock to the system. It hit me, suddenly. Today is Friday. The fast is in 48 hours– less, even. Somehow, I didn’t think I’d still be here. Moshiach, where are you? We were supposed to meet yesterday!

That’s the one hard thing of constant belief and optimism, of still being a complete Maamin no matter what. You will get let down. And it hurts. If you intensely believe that the Redemption will come that day, watching the sun go down can shatter you. Even as you think, ‘so tomorrow, then,’ a voice says, ‘why not today?’ Even as you say ‘there’s one more weekday until Tisha b’Av,’ it’s easy to think, ‘we’re running out of time. We had a week and now we have a day.’

I don’t give up. Even when a car horn in the silence makes me stiffen and my heart pound. Even when there’s Shofar blowing somewhere in the building, and someone jokingly yells ‘Moshiach,’ and even as you scowl for them making fun of something so sacred, you wonder if they could be right. And you cry when they’re not.

This turned into a very long good morning. But you understand, don’t you? What it’s like to have a shattered spirit but still cling to hope. One can’t always just say, ‘So if not today, then tomorrow,’ with a smile. If the ‘not today’ doesn’t cause pain, where will you get the strength for the ‘tomorrow?’ Sometimes, the roller coaster of hope and despair gets the better of me.

But today, I’ll go down fighting. Moshiach won’t just randomly show up. He’s waiting for us to bring him in.

Man plans…

Man plans and G-d laughs

“Yiddish Proverb”

Based on some ‘field research’ done this week, I’m no longer so sure about that one. I think it probably goes more like this.

Man plans, and G-d sighs

Why? Somehow, I don’t think G-d laughs at us when He changes our plans and gives us the opportunity to learn lessons we would never have met in our ordinary lives. He sighs, not because He’s worried if we will learn or not– He already knows the outcome. But we don’t. He sighs because He recognizes that it’s hard for us us down here. We have great and noble plans and sometimes, they fall through. He knows that this can shake us and frustrate us. They can shake us so much that we loose the message in our frustration. He sighs as He watches our plans fall through and He only laughs when He sees us pick ourselves back up again and move on- with us, not at us.

Scared, but with faith

Tisha B’av scares me. Lucky mentioned it, so I’ll elaborate

I looked at the calender and saw that this year, the actual date of the ninth of Av is a Shabbat. The fast is on the tenth of Av this year. And that seemed really surreal to me. On the one hand, it’s the saddest day in the Jewish calendar year. Postponing the fast doesn’t change the date of all the sad things that happened. (Also see the rest of Chabad.org on the subject.) On the other hand, it’s Shabbat. We’re commanded to rejoice. Even if you can forget the date, the fast is lurking right around the corner, reminding you to drink plenty of water and not eat anything that will make you feel sick the next day.

And then I was thinking how if the Shabbat Project ever did another one this year, this would be the perfect week for it. But no, that would never happen. Something really drastic would have to happen for them to whip together a worldwide Shabbat campaign at such short notice. And then it brought me back to where I started.

Drastic things do happen. Like last year. And last year, we promised ourselves that this would be the last time we fasted and mourned. And I believed it. It seemed impossible to me that the world would not wake up and fix things. That we would not wake up and fix things. That I would not wake up and fix things.

Tisha b’Av scares me beacuse I’m scared of living in another year of Galus. We can’t last much longer. S0 G-d, who cares too much to give up on us, shakes us to wake us up before it’s too late. And those shakes HURT. Bombing, wars, mass antisemitism. We confuse the symptoms for the disease, but really, though life is calmer now, we’re still facing the same core problem. And already, we’re being shaking up again. Thank G-d, the bombs landed an unoccupied area. Thank G-d, nothing terrible happened during the protest in London.

But how much longer before we’re shaken up again? That’s what scares me, even more than seeing our nation fall more every day. These symptoms tell us how bad things are. But in and of themselves, they are sooo painful.

I’m not writing this to give up hope. Not at all. I may feel desperate, but I haven’t given up yet. If we take this message to heart, there will be no need to fear anymore. I know I say this every year, but it needs to be said again. G-d will keep on shaking us. And we will not give up.

Please help me. We’ve all made mistakes this year. But we’ve learned that we can come together, and the echos of last summer’s unity still live on. Wake them up!

אני מאמין באמונה שלמה בביאת המשיח .ואף על פי שיתמהמה, עם כל זה אחכה לו בכל היום שיבוא I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Moshaich. Even if he delays, I wait for him every day.

It sounds so simple. But maybe if we truly believe this, it will be easier for us to take the final step forward in all our actions. If we remember this, that Moshiach is on our doorstep, that he is just waiting to know the time is right for him to enter…

Just be there

A friend’s older sister was getting married tonight, and in spite of everything else going on in my life at the moment, I made a point of being there, if only for a few minutes.

Why?                                                                                           Because she asked me to.

I knew that many other girls were coming, (turns out that that was an understatement, half my school was there,) but if she cared enough to repeatedly ask me to come… I cared more than enough to listen to her.

Never too late

It’s never too late

Even when your finger brushes the button

Even when you’re about to turn the wrong way

Even when the lashon harah is about to slide off your tongue

Even when you’ve stood up to storm off.

Even when you’ve picked up the book, ‘deciding’ it’s probably ok

Even when you’ve already turned on the screen

Even when you told someone you’d show up

Even once you’ve convinced yourself that the shirt really isn’t too loud

Even when… you’re about to hit ‘POST’

Even when the perfect tactless comment is in your brain

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

From personal experience.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach! Have a happy and uplifting ‘long weekend!’

Artistic Visit

Today we had the privilege of having a guest speaker in our careers class. She volunteered her time to visit her old school and speak for close to an hour, two consecutive classes

Not only was I impressed with her speech and the information she taught us, I was also impressed with her career. Makeup artist is often seen as such an external-related, physical, gashmiyusdik occupation. Hearing her speak gave me a totally different mindset.

First of all, in contrast to the gashmiyus of the makeup industry, she was dressed impeccably tzniusdikly. Her own makeup was subtle and very tasteful—in fact, clueless me is just assuming that she was wearing any at all. The glow of her skin was concentrated only in the areas that were visible

She described using makeup for the most spiritual of purposes—to make brides look amazing and feel confident on their wedding days. She talked about how the flexible hours allowed her to work even after her own marriage (Hashem should bless them both with everything). She emphasized how thrilled she was to finish school and work with the frum community.

Thank you for many lessons, well taught.

Huge Kiddush Hashem

http://forward.com/news/306056/can-an-orthodox-charity-help-save-lives-in-this-mans-church/

Not only are the actions presented in the article amazing and bring honour to Hashem, but so does the article. So rare at the moment is an article that is from a secular site, yet honest and unbiased.

Apologies that the article is too long to embed. It looks clean and good, but, as with always, think before you click.

Holy Machlokes

We learned a most inspiring peice about Machlokes today. Why can Yidden not just stop arguing?!

Suppose someone at your workplace was doing something wrong. It wouldn’t have a major affect on you, but you thought you could help them correct it. After a few persistent ‘no’s, maybe even a few ‘my way is better’s, you would probably give up.

But say your brother or sister was doing something simmilar. Something that might bother them, but wouldn’t really have such a huge affect on you. Would you still try to help them? Of course!!! If they’re in any form of danger– spiritual, financial (as in our previous case), physical– you would do your utmost to stop them.

We don’t fight because we think everyone else is wrong and we’re right. We fight because we want to help all our Jewish brothers and sisters do the very best that they can!

And, like all other siblings, we might beat eachother black and blue within the family. But when an outsider threatens? “No one messes with my baby brother!” Please– in times of peace, may they come soon, lets remember how we feel about each other when the bigger threats loom.

Should you help people grow spiritually? Of course!!! (That’s a subject for a later post.) But if you’ve ever cried bitter tears over the ‘wars’ within– there is hope! We fight because we care!