Spread the light
Shimon Hatzadik was Kohen Gadol-High Priest for forty years. When he would come out of the Kodesh Kedoshim-Holy of holies he always had a vision of an old man dressed in white. He knew then that he would live to the next year.
One year he came out and the vision he saw was different. There was the same man, but instead of the vision being white, he was bedecked in black. He knew then that he would die that year.
Indeed a few weeks later he fell ill and passed away.
What was it that caused Rabbi Shimon to realise his death was near?
Shortly after the Jews received the Torah at Mt Sinai, they committed the grave sin of the golden calf. They repented and said “even though we are ‘Black’ with sin, we are still beautiful inside”.
Rabbi Shimon, as a Kohen Gadol realised that if he could only see “black” – representing the negative, the problems, the bleakness – he could no longer serve as a leader of the people.
Rabbi Jacobson explains, in a talk I heard last week, that if a teacher, rabbi, or parent sees the bad in the situation, he cannot lead, guide, teach or advance his students and/or his children.
I want to take it a step further. It all begins with OURSELVES. We need to see the light within us. We need to see the joy in our day. We need to know that though we may have sinned and “have some black” we are still beautiful.
We are all part of G-d. The spark within us can never be diminished and never stops shining.
Because the Yidden in the desert intrinsically believed in themselves, G-d immediately forgave them and told them to build the Tabernacle (Mishkan).
Here in Melbourne we are certainly being tested. It is our second Rosh Hashanah and probably Yom Kippur that we are and will be in lockdown.
Our shuls our locked.
But we know that G-d loves our prayers whether in shul or at home. The reality is, though, that it’s harder to concentrate at home. It’s tougher to get in the vibe of prayer, (at least for me). I miss the chazan’s beautiful uplifting melodies. I miss getting a new something whether dress, top, skirt, shoes or boots for the New Year. I miss big beautiful meals with friends and family. I miss being able to visit my friends in the old age home.
I have never felt Golus/exile so acutely, so intensely and so insanely. But I cannot allow myself to see “Black”, cannot see utter despair or pure misery, because we are all leaders. Some of us are Rabbis, some are teachers, some are parents, and for those who may be none of the above, we are all leaders for ourselves, to ourselves with the G-dly spark of light waiting to shine forth on the world.
Like King Solomon who was first ruler over his country, then lost that and became ruler over his city, and then eventually only became ruler over his staff. One cannot control his country, city, nor family members. But one can rule over oneself.
We have to light up the darkness by brining more light. We cannot eliminate this “Black” time, but we can ILLUMINATE this dark time and change the black to white.
I know that G-d is running this world. This is what He planned for us. I have no idea why, but this is our Exclusive Melbourne challenge. Can we see the light at the end of the tunnel? Can we focus on all of the good that is happening around us? The packaged meals being prepared for people who can’t cook, the care packages of fruits & vegetables,inspiring zoom events, shiurim online, podcasts galore that were once exclusive to 200, now accessible to the world at the click of a button
שֶׁלּא יִכְבֶּה נֵרו לְעולָם וָעֶד
Your light will NEVER be extinguished!
G-d is here with us, guiding us, holding us through this challenging time. Let us rise up and shine our light – stronger, brighter and with greater abundance and believe that we can get through this challenging time.
Let us each shine our light and G-d will certainly act in kind- shining the everlasting light of the Geulah to the Melbourne community first!