Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

When we get a bruise or get hurt in some physical way, we immediately cry out in pain. A small child might cry easily but still we all cry out in some way when we are hurt.

When the bruise or the damage that is done to another isn’t physical, does that make the pain any less? Maybe it’s even greater.

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G-d is running the world, and there is always justice in the eyes of Hashem. Not always can we understand His infinite ways, but there is always clarity and tranquility above. It is said that Hashem has mercy on all of His creations, without any exceptions. If someone hurts someone else, no matter how big or small, they will be held accountable for that deed.

We are coming close to the holy judgment day and we must make sure that we enter that courtroom as clean and as clear as possible. Hashem is merciful and understands that we all have our good side and our other side. And sometimes the other side gets the better half of us and we don’t behave appropriately.

Not always is just saying I’m sorry enough for G-d to forgive us. Sometimes we must endure similar behavior done to us in order that we might feel how that person we hurt felt. Only then can we truly be forgiven, because our mercy isn’t like Hashem’s mercy. Hashem’s mercy is true and pure. And if someone cried to G-d out of pain that was caused to them by someone else, Hashem remembers the tears that were shed and the pain that was felt. Therefore, if we experience some great emotional pain from someone else, we should know that it’s only from Hashem who is trying to cleanse our soul to be beautiful again, after we got soiled with our wrong deeds onto others.

There is another expression that states, “He whom G-d loves will be scolded.” Meaning, even if we hurt someone unintentionally, Hashem will create a similar situation, and this time we might get hurt in the same way. Thus we will be able to suffer the pain and repent our wrong doings.

My life has been very challenging for many years. True I’m only 52 years old, but I have experienced much pain in these years. History repeats itself and the actions of the parents do give a sign to the next generation how to behave, for better or for worse. I didn’t respect my parents enough, sometimes unintentionally, for many years. I have become a better person today and have changed my ways. Today I take care of my parents to the utmost and respect them with all my heart. I have asked them for forgiveness time and time again, and they of course have forgiven me. But still the pain I caused them in the past wasn’t forgotten in heaven, or completely cleansed, with my good behavior today.

I have beautiful children and wonderful grandchildren which are all a tremendous blessing from above. Since Hashem loves me, He wants me to enter that courtroom, in about a week, clean as a whistle. And if there is any pain which I caused my parents which has not yet been erased, the Almighty in His infinite wisdom and never-ending love, will make sure that through some pain on the same scale, I will be cleansed and ready for Rosh Hashana.

About a month ago I experienced extreme pain and betrayal from someone I love who is so very close to me. At first I couldn’t do anything but cry. I tried to help myself and seek advice. I tried to implement the advice I received and worked ever so hard not to fall into self-pity, despair or depression. I kept repeating to myself and out loud that all that I was going through was from Hashem and for the best. It didn’t take away the pain and agony I felt; the betrayal and the hurt that I felt every second of the day. I tried meditation, and listening to happy music. I went to work and tried not to think so much. And all along I kept asking Hashem to help me overcome this trial, and forgive me for the people I hurt in the past, especially my beloved parents.

This past Friday as I was making my challah for Shabbat, I broke down once again in tears. I have been making challah for over 30 years almost without missing a Shabbat. I know the words to the prayer and the blessings that are recited, by heart. And this time I couldn’t remember even one word. I said “Hashem take my challah, I don’t remember the words, just please make me strong and help me love and obey forever.” I cried and cried till my tears filled up the bowl of the challah. I put the tray of dough into the oven and put a timer on like I do every single week for over 30 years. For some unknown reason the timer didn’t work and all the challah was burned like coals.

I looked up at the heavens and asked Hashem why all my challah burned? My friend had just walked in and saw this scene to which she immediately responded, Hashem has heard your prayers and has accepted your sacrifice. She went on to tell me that in the times of the Holy Temple fire would come out of the heavens and take the offerings that were given to the high priest. And the offering of the bread we are told, when it was accepted, it was burned to charcoal and nothing was left of the bread. And this was exactly what happened to my bread as well. G-d had accepted my tears and took all the bread up to heaven and wiped my slate clean.

We are not G-d, nor do we have the ability to hear Hashem like the prophets in the past. However, Hashem ‘talks to us’ all the time, and it is up to us to hear the messages that He sends. Thank you Hashem for hearing my cries and most of all thank you for cleansing my soul and making sure I enter the New Year with the best deeds at my side.

Shana Tova to all.

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Michal can be reached at michal@jewishpress.com