The act of holding hands is so simple. It silently links two people. I remember walking to shul as a kid with my cool older cousin one Shabbat and as she took my hand I said, “I’m old enough to cross the street myself.”
“I know,” she replied, “but I want to hold your hand anyways” I was a little embarrassed because my hand was sweaty but it didn’t matter to her and it felt nice that she was taking care of me.
When I’m out walking with my nieces and nephews I usually hold their hands too. I want to protect them and feel close to them. (Unless they protest in an attempt to lay claim to their independence so often robbed of them by worrying, albeit well intentioned adults.) Even as a grown person, holding my mother’s hand makes me feel safe and loved. No matter how old or self sufficient I may be, I will always need my mother. And I’ll always be her baby.
In this week’s Parsha, Hashem is referred to by the name Eheyah-אהיה which means I will be. This is peculiar, as typically Hashem’s names describe a characteristic that He is manifesting to the world, for example mercy, judgment or compassion. This name simply means Be. I will be. To be with someone is to put all other focus aside and direct ALL attention, complete uninterrupted focus on the other person. When Hashem is being with us, that is exactly what he is doing. Whenever it feels like we’re alone. We are not. Hashem is there by our collective side carrying us through our challenges. Whenever the load feels t0o heavy to carry we must remember that we share it with Hashem. Even if it feels like G-d is stunningly absent amid tragedy the world faced and faces, he is there, being. He is holding our hand, we the child and he the parent. He is connected to us, supporting us while simultaneously seeing things from a higher perspective. And carrying us through the times that may seem devoid of light to get to a brighter place.
Wishing everyone strength to push through challenges with grace and feeling the presence of Hashem tightly embracing us.
Shabbat shalom or Good Shabbas- your choice!