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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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What Do I Tell My Children (About the Boys)?

We articulate our faith, in God and in people and in ourselves, we find reasons for hope and excuses to love, and then we dive right back into the battle zone and struggle with our feelings.

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Dusk in the early morning hours seen from Mt Meron, Northern Israel. March 26, 2014.

Dusk in the early morning hours seen from Mt Meron, Northern Israel. March 26, 2014.
Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90



I think what we do is we learn to live in that struggle. We look at this challenge as an opportunity to make ourselves better, more complete, more complex, more nuanced. In whatever way we can grow or improve, we are using the struggle for good. It’s not that we ignore the questions, God forbid. No. We articulate our questions, we get mad, we feel the pain, and then we dive right into those emotions and swim to the other side. In the other side we articulate our faith, in God and in people and in ourselves, we find reasons for hope and excuses to love, and then we dive right back into the battle zone and struggle with our feelings.

It’s not easy. It doesn’t simplify things. But while there is an elegance to simplicity, the most beautiful things are truly the most complex and intricate. These struggles enable us to weave a delicate tapestry that expresses our most basic human emotions. It won’t magically make us feel happy again. But in my view, we don’t try to feel better as much as we just try to feel. Feel all the feelings, live on this precipitous cliff, embrace the struggle, and when we emerge from the fray we will have found something new in ourselves.

“וּמָחָה אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה דִּמְעָה מֵעַל כָּל פָּנִים”

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Rabbi Eliyahu Fink

About the Author: Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, J.D. is the rabbi at the famous Pacific Jewish Center | The Shul on the Beach in Venice CA. He blogs at finkorswim.com. Connect with Rabbi Fink on Facebook and Twitter.

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