Avraham Lev Weiss

On Not Erasing One Another

One of the great gifts of creation is that each one of us has life, a story to tell, an unfolding discovery of who we are and what we can become. HaShem gives us this gift, commands us to live fully, happily, sincerely. Once, it was perhaps common not to want to listen to one another’s stories. There were those who “mattered” and those who seemingly didn’t, the untouchables, the invisibles. We erased them perhaps, did not want to listen, didn’t care, and this of course was painful, hard. For years, so many, silenced, fought to be heard, to be acknowledged. You are not nothing, you count, you matter.

We are sensitive to one another now, trying to be. And this is good, very good, because in hearing and respecting one another, in allowing each other to tell our stories, we are recognizing the honor of HaShem that fills all the world. The whole world is full of His glory, emanating from all that exists, surrounding and filling all of creation. By seeing His holiness in everyone, we are bringing closer the great day of revelation, the truth and the wholeness we are longing for.

But we must be careful. Because even worse than erasing one another’s stories, even worse than not caring about one another, is not caring about HaShem. He is the storyteller, after all, our narratives are a gift from Him, a part of Him. And while there have been many over the generations who claimed to know His will and in so doing sought to control and erase, we must know that we are safe from such falsehood and injustice. As long as we are honest in our intentions and faithful to His Torah, we can and do know His will. Keeping HaShem’s Torah is not a matter of personal gain, not a matter of power or prestige, it is a striving towards a life of truth, a longing to forever remain connected to Him, to truly know and do good.

In other words, the question is not what is my story, what is your story? And the answer is not, do what you want to do, it’s all good, we find what is right together. The question is does my story fit into HaShem’s? The answer is, I want to live a life of truth according to the One who made me.

So again, we are not here because our stories start or continue here. We are here because HaShem desires us, His people, to inherit this, His land. And you, our cousins, are not trapped in cycles of resentment and violence because you have been wronged, but because you have not yet awoken to understand your place in the story of the one true G-d who you claim to serve.

So stories are a gift. And respect is a blessing and a key to our redemption. But our lives are more than just our own small narratives. Whether we know it or not, our lives are devoted to the One who gives them, our stories a part of the One who tells them, and our honor belongs to the One to whom honor is due.

About the Author
Avraham Lev Weiss made Aliyah to Israel eight years ago and works as an educator in the Israeli school system. He loves the land and its people very deeply and hopes that his words and unique perspective as a ba'al teshuva, oleh, and teacher can be helpful to clarify truth and enable unity.
Related Topics
Related Posts