Yoseph Janowski
By the Grace of G-d

Desert Mud

This past weekend, a desert celebration of debauchery turned into a mess of mud.

It’s not the first time that hedonistic revelry in a desert ended badly.

I’m thinking of the worshipping of the golden calf right after G-d’s revelation at Mount Sinai.

I kept wondering, why burn an effigy of a man? And then a possible explanation hit me. Man is created in the image of G-d. By burning it, people are saying that they don’t want to recognize G-d or His commandments. They want to be free to do whatever they want. Only they’re not free, because they are enslaved to their desires.

During the mass “exodus” (funny they should use that term — reminiscent of when the Jewish people escaped Egypt, a land enmired in lewdness and idol worship), many showed that instead of compassionate caring, they reportedly manifested ugly anger.

So, a golden calf (worshipping freedom from subservience to G-d), and the burning of a human effigy. Same idea. Been there, done that. King Solomon the wisest of men said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Mud. Amazing how some well-placed water in a desert can clean things up.

Rosh Hashana is soon here. A time when we accept G-d’s Kingship. And very soon, the entire world will recognize G-d as King, and accept His rulership.

A time when we wish each other to be written and inscribed for a good and sweet year.

Now, during the month of Elul, G-d is very close to us. “Like a king who stops in the field, and greets people with a warm smile,” writes the Alter Rebbe, the first Rebbe of Lubavitch.

A time to be in touch with our purpose, our essential bond with our Creator.

A time to turn a desert into an abode, where man and G-d can unite in a world of purpose and true beauty.

May it happen now.

About the Author
The author lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written for
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