Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Finding Yourself In The Field

We have a teaching from the Alter Rebbe, telling us that the King (G-D) is in the field. In the month of Elul, before the Jewish new year approaches, G-D is traveling the country side and we can go and meet Him in the field. When G-D will see us, He will greet us with a smile (showing us that he loves us). All year long if we want to see the king, He is in His palace and for most of us regular people, it is nearly impossible to get an audience. But now The King is accessible to all. 
In my mind, a field is where you can feel a connection with G-D. At this time of year, the harvest is done and the possibilities of what you can do with that field are endless. It is you, your potential, maybe even your vulnerabilities, and your connection with G-D. For each person that field may be different. But the thing that is the same is that if you make an effort to connect with G-D, you will be greeted with love. 
There is a story about a young girl that would leave school before morning prayers and come back after prayers. One day her grandfather followed her and watched her go to the forest and pray there. He asked her,"Why do you come here to pray? Don't you know G-D is the same everywhere?"  She answer him that although she knows G-D is the same everywhere, SHE is not the same everywhere. This is her field, the place where she feels a stronger connection to G-D. Most of us have felt moved by being in a certain environment, yet we know that G-D is always connected to us the same way, so why is it that sometimes we feel closer then other times? The deepest part of a person is their soul, and that is an actual part of G-D, right inside us, our most essential part. When we feel disconnected from G-d we are really feeling disconnected from ourselves, the deepest, purest, holiest part of ourselves. At this time of the year, Hashem tells us it's time to remember who you are. Go to that field, where you can see your dreams, your potential, and your possibilities, and there you will not only find G-D, you will find that He was with you all the time, you were just too caught up in other things to notice. We have a few days left of this month, and although the King will be going back to His palace, if you meet Him in the field, you will realize that not only is He with you always, you are with Him always, even in the palace, for you are his child as well and a child can always have access to their father. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Riding The Waves

Here we are once again, preparing for the new year, and assessing the last year. It's been different, but mostly not as hard as the year before. I suppose we are all trying to find our place in the world and that journey never ends. As soon as we feel comfortable, things change and we need to adapt once again. It's much easier if you are not holding on for dear life to what you wanted, and are ok to ride the waves and see where they take you. Yet human nature is that we want to dream and make plans according to how we imagine our lives, and we are not necessarily good at being the passive passenger. What is also difficult is adjusting to a new direction. Clearly our destination has always been up to G-D, and we all aspire to be His partner in our part of this mysterious, yet purposeful plan. We hope to leave this world a better place then how we found it, we hope to do as much good as we can, and we plan according to our dreams, our strength, and our passions. The journey itself is where things get confusing. On a regular journey, the destination is the main focus. On this journey of life, the journey itself is of so much importance second only to the purpose of the journey. We imagine our lives from the time we are so young. What we want to be, who we want to marry, how we wish to live, what our families will be like and so much more. I am one of the lucky ones, who married the man of my dreams, had the job I always wanted, a wonderful family and so many incredible friends. Yet I find it difficult to adjust my dreams to my current situation. I still have all that I ever wanted, yet the journey has changed paths drastically. We are still moving in the direction we always were, yet everything is different. It has taken a while to adjust and perhaps we never fully do. As stubborn as I am, I refused to accept that this reality is ours for the long haul. That refusal allowed me to constantly imagine a miracle and things going back to "normal" yet prevented me from using this challenge in the way that Yitzi does, as a platform to reach those in a similar situation. He was the Chabad Emissary in Temecula and now he is the Emissary to the many people of the world trying to live with the challenges G-D has given them. If the cost wasn't so high I would say he has been given a promotion. I don't think I will ever achieve the level of peace that he has, yet it's time to stop dreaming and get to work. Since Yitzi got sick I have had the pleasure of sharing our story and lessons we have learned with many people around the world. It is my way of finding purpose in our challenge. I never expected or wanted to be a speaker. I am shy and private and this is so far from my comfort zone, I can barely wave to it from here. Yet here I am. I have found a way to make my husband proud, bring comfort to people and help support my family at the same time. In order to do this I had to first speak to my children, who will be without me while I am gone, and see what they feel about it. Right now they are all excited about it. They think it's pretty cool that I can do it and important enough that they will do without me during those times. Just to put that in perspective, that means the one parent who takes care of them will not be around. That is not a decision I take lightly, nor do they. That is their way of giving from themselves to you. One of my sons said to me, "I feel like we lost a father and the world got a hero. Yet we need a father and the world needs a hero". My children are smart and brave and strong and hurting and still willing to give more. Clearly they take after their father. 

Right now I am on my way to Miami. I look forward to meeting new people and seeing new places and then going home to my family. Aside for the holidays, I will be away just about every other weekend for the next several months. I am very excited to begin this next phase and I am so grateful to have the family and friends I do. So many people have stepped in to help at home while I am away.  There are plans for every 'what if' situation I can imagine, and believe me, I have a good imagination.  Without our friends, none of the life we have would be possible. Whatever Yitzi and I can do positive at this time is only because of you and the kindness you have shown us. May Hashem bless you with a sweet year and may He show you kindness in every part of your lives.