Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Here we are again – Shavuos, the yom tov commemorating the giving of the Torah, God’s greatest gift to mankind.
If someone were to say to me, “It’s unbelievable that Hashem gave us His amazing Torah,” I would respond, “That’s the wrong way to put it. ‘Unbelievable’ means ‘not to be believed.’ The correct expression is, ‘It’s beyond belief’ – meaning more than belief. Hashem loves His charming nation beyond words.”
Yes, this is how much Hashem loves us, and we learn it from a non-Jew named Bilam, who declared (Bamidbar 23:21), “He observes not evil among Yaakov and sees no transgression in Israel.”
My son Moshe told me that that the other day he was davening at the Kotel and there were three non-Jews observing him, studying his swaying, to the point that it became annoying to him. Finally he asked them, “What are you looking at?”
And they started showering him with praises. “You Jews are right…you are all the living truth of the prophets who predicted Israel’s return to their land and the coming of Messiah. Our pastor talks to us about you Jews in every sermon, and now we are here in the Holy land, observing this with our own eyes.”
They found the words to describe their belief. But Hashem’s love for us is way beyond this – beyond belief, beyond words.
Imagine if, in my absolute love for my wife, I dared give her a piece of parchment on which was written, in the beautiful calligraphy of a scribe: “And you must love your husband with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your essence.” I’d probably have to duck fast as the rolling pin came flying at my head with my wife shouting, “Don’t tell me how to love you; you must earn my love!”
But I would still go on loving her, seeing no evil or transgression in any of her actions. This is Hashem’s love for His nation.
He is so charmed by His nation, here in the land of Israel more than any other place on earth.
It starts with Pesach, as we recount and celebrate Hashem’s glorious and miraculous taking us out to freedom. Than we start counting the 49 days to Shavuos.
Chol hamoed is spent partying, going to concerts, visiting nature reserves and holy places.
A week after Pesach we all stop and remember the Holocaust. Television and radio are completely given over to the task of charming Hashem, with stories of suffering, death, survival, and bravery – charming our God, despite feeing we were forsaken during those horrendous years of torture.
About a week later it’s memorial day for fallen soldiers and an entire nation salutes those who gave their lives so that we could live as Jews in a Jewish land. Nightlife comes to a complete standstill and sirens roar for a moment of national silence as we also remember the thousands murdered in terrorist attacks.
And then before you can even turn around it’s Israel Independence Day, with mass celebrations across the nation. Thank you, Hashem, for bringing us home at last. People hugging and kissing each other; fireworks going off; fighter jets flying across the sky above, filling our hearts with joy and pride.
And then we count the days to Lag B’Omer when more than half a million people struggle their way up to tiny Meron to connect to the tzaddik Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Food and drink everywhere, all free, beyond money, just the Jewish spirit of loving and giving and blessing one another, charming our Maker as no other nation on earth.
Ten more days of counting brings thousands of young people together, marching up to Jerusalem, waving flags and celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem.
I stood by the Western Wall and merited davening Minchah led by an elderly man who told me, “On this date, in 1965, my father died. And as a soldier two years later in the Six-Day War, as a paratrooper, I led the first Minchah minyan when we reached this wall and I said Kaddish for my father on his yahrzeit, on that first Jerusalem Day.”
Was Hashem charmed by this? Of course. Beyond belief? Certainly.
And now we approach Shavuos, Kabbalas HaTorah, yahrzeit of King David. My son-in-law and daughter started a new tradition a few years ago: they and hundreds of other young couples come to camp out on Mount Zion, the traditional burial place of David Hamelech, king of Israel and singer of Psalms. Everyone shares and helps, and there is singing all night and learning all night. Then, before daybreak, it’s off to a ritual bath down below in the City of David, in what is known as the High Priest’s mikveh, followed by the climb back up to David’s tomb to pray with the sunrise.
At the same time about 100,000 Jews flock to the Kotel, all of them shouting, “We do love You with all our hearts, souls and our entire essence. We rededicate ourselves to another year of Torah observance. We love You for not seeing any evil or transgression in Your nation, and we remain Your charming lawfully wedded nation.”
About the Author: Dov Shurin is a popular radio personality and the composer and producer of several albums. He lives with his family in Israel and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Jewish Press column appears monthly.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The answer is an emphatic no.
The meaning of “God’s watch” here is not entirely clear.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
I hollered over and over again, waving a clinched fist toward the heavens.
This past Shabbos, as we read the weekly Torah portion of Bishalach, my son suddenly said to me, “Dad, I have a feeling Sharon is going to pass away today, because we just read his name in Az Yashir [the Song of the Sea] where it says ‘arik charbi.’ ”
God decided to cast Truth down to earth and went on to create the world.
As I put on my tefillin, I knew we needed a miracle.
To me, the biggest joke of it all was the gleeful announcement by Rabin that “We are no longer an am livadad yishkone, a nation that dwells alone!”
Hashem simply goes beyond the letter of the law in His love for us.
I just celebrated the 29th anniversary of my aliyah to Israel. I have experienced two intifadas, the disastrous results of the Oslo agreements, the assassination of a prime minister, and the tragic expulsion of thousands of our citizens from their beautiful homes in Gush Katif.
What were you thinking on Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the year? The day when we mourn the destruction of our two Temples; our expulsion from Spain, England and France; the Crusades, the Holocaust; our two thousand years of wandering the earth?
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/dov-shurin-columns/beyond-belief/2012/05/24/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online:
No related posts.