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(Guest columnist, Rav Simcha Weinberg, is an internationally known teacher of Torah}

Most people know how to give voice to aspirations in prayer, but this person is much more than someone who prays; she lives a life of aspiration. She is a perfect expression of King David’s declaration, “I am prayer (Psalms 109:4).” She was praying outside on Yom Kippur and focused on the frame of her incomplete Sukkah. “I saw the frame and perceived the boundaries of the frame, but, I also saw the open spaces offering boundless opportunities. It was Boundless Boundaries.” She understood the structure of prayer to focus her aspirations so that they could become boundless.

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Her insight opens up this week’s portion, Ha’azinu, as the infinite voice that continues to emanate from the framework provided by Torah. It is the Song of Torah. God reminds us that Torah is a gift that allows us to soar, and He sings, “As an eagle stirs up its nest, flutters over its young, spreads out its wings, takes them, bears them on its pinions.” All the laws and structured prayers of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur provide the boundaries necessary to focus our creative aspirations, shed self-imposed limitations, and explore life’s possibilities. All the boundaries imposed by Torah are intended to make us boundless. Torah taught as restriction lacks its song. Torah that nurtures endless possibilities gives voice to its song. It is the means to live a life of aspiration so that we, too, can claim, “I am prayer.”

Boundless Boundaries are the point of the imperfect structures we build as our Sukkot. We go outside to experience the security of God’s Presence in a building with open spaces in the roof, and incomplete walls. The Sukkah is intended to provide the security we need to soar. God provides an anchor, “He drew me up from the gruesome pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and made my footsteps secure,” so that, “He puts a new song in my mouth, praise to our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in God (Psalm 40).” The “new song,” is the Song of Torah, Ha’azinu. We do not close ourselves off from the world, erecting impermeable boundaries to protect us. We leave open spaces in the roof. We build imperfect structures. The Sukkah is the place from which we go out into the world, applying Torah’s wisdom to every aspect of life, soaring in song, rejoicing in Boundless Boundaries.

We should never leave the Days of Awe with a sense of loss of the structured connection with God. We use the period of prayer, repentance, and focus, to live the rest of the year with a sense of Boundless Boundaries.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameiach,

Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg, President of The Foundation Stone

 

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Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg, is founder and President of the leading Torah website, The Foundation Stone. Rav Simcha is an internationally known teacher of Torah and has etablished yeshivot on several continents.
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