Thursday, September 20, 2012

6 Hours and 44 Minutes

5:11 PM - Up since 6 AMish.  My ride ran late this morning. I wrote this poem while I waited:

Waiting for connection
Waiting for a ride
Waiting as time passes me by

Surrounded by sweetness
Surrounded by sadness
Surrounded by something called life

Hoping in a lobby
Hoping for the moment
Hoping for hope beyond hope

I think consistently about driving, or more precisely - about not driving.  It's hard in life to know what you can and can't do.  Even hard to that is to accept what your reality is and live with it in peace once you've - to the extent possible - figured it out.

My work day today ends officially at 9:47 PM with the conclusion of a simulated school presentation.  It starts at 7:30 and I have several early on and then one in the final slot.  Gam zu letovah.

The school is providing dinner for those of us in for the whole day. I'm going to go eat.  First, a Torah thought:


"I will then display anger against them and abandon them.
I will hide my face from them
and they will be their enemies' prey.
Beset by many evils and troubles,
they will say, 'It is because my God is no longer with me
that these evils have befallen us.'"
- Devarim 31:17

The conventional take of G-d hiding his face, which can be traced to Moreh Nevukhim 1:23, 3:51 and to the Ralbag on this verse is that G-d will take away his protection/providence. The lesser known alternative to this is that of the Chizzkuni and Pa'aneach Razah and Ba'alei Tosafot (cited by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan); that G-d out of love must look away when we are being punished, as if He can't bear to see it.

The above idea fits with the concept of "Imo anochi betzarah," G-d's telling us "I am with you in your pain" - Tehillim 91:15. There was once a rabbi who used to have a system with his children that if they misbehaved at breakfast they wouldn't get jelly on their bread. Part of the deal was that on days when he didn't spread jelly on their bread - he didn't put jelly on his own bread either.

The Ramban points out in his rich comment on this pasuk that feeling bad in our hearts is real and significant. When bad things happen around us and we say maybe evil has befallen us because G-d is not in our lives - that is true reflection, sincere regret, and of great value. (This is in contradistinction to the Rambam who says that we have to verbally confess our sins for it to qualify as legitimate teshuva.)

On Rosh HaShana the Jewish People re-accept G-d and start a process. May we be blessed to hold on to what our hearts felt on Rosh HaShana and continue to participate in the process of true teshuva and hasten the process of real redemption.

Text of Ramban:

רמב"ן - (דברים פרק לא:יז - יח) וטעם ואמר ביום ההוא הלא על כי אין אלהי בקרבי - איננו וידוי גמור כענין והתודו את עונם, אבל הוא הרהור וחרטה, שיתחרטו על מעלם ויכירו כי אשמים הם. וטעם ואנכי הסתר אסתיר פני - פעם אחרת, כי בעבור שהרהרו ישראל בלבם כי חטאו לאלהים ועל כי אין אלהיהם בקרבם מצאום הרעות האלה, היה ראוי לרוב חסדי השם שיעזרם ויצילם שכבר כפרו בע"ז, וכענין שאמר (ירמיה ב לה) הנני נשפט אותך על אמרך לא חטאתי: ולכך אמר, כי על כל הרעה הגדולה שעשו לבטוח בע"ז יסתיר עוד פנים מהם, לא כמסתר פנים הראשון שהסתיר פני רחמיו ומצאום רעות רבות וצרות, רק שיהיו בהסתר פני הגאולה, ויעמדו בהבטחת פני רחמיו (ויקרא כו מד) ואף גם זאת בהיותם בארץ אויביהם לא מאסתים ולא געלתים וגו' עד שיוסיפו על החרטה הנזכרת וידוי גמור ותשובה שלימה, כמו שנזכר למעלה (ל ב) ושבת עד ה' אלהיך וגו
6:17 PM - Back in my office.  A student is hanging out, passing time by talking with me till his hockey practice at 8 o'clock.

10:56 PM - Just got home from my day at work.  Thank  G-d for everything in this night and night and every day and night of my life.

11:24 PM - I need to think and breathe while awake, pre sleep...

11:37 PM - Just got an email from a parent about their child and sent an email to a superior. "HaYom katzar..."

11:38 PM - It struck me recently how we declare in Aleinu, "efes zulato" - there is nothing - zero chance of there being anything - other than G-d. The Ramban on the meraglim came to mind.  He says that their mistake was using the word "efes" - saying that there was zero chance of their entering Israel (despite G-d's promise that they could and would because He was behind them.  Perhaps this phrasing in the prayer is a retort to that episode.

11:55 PM - This is part of an email I just received from a parent:

"It was nice meeting you tonight and learning about your class which sounds wonderful."

And with this I'll close:

Good night and G-d bless.
Life is good I must confess.
Good night dear world. Peace.


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