We go through a large part of life by habit. We set a path for ourselves and we start walking on it. In effect, this path started when Hashem created the world, however, each and every generation feels responsible for the path they set down, as if they were the first.
This is true on a global level and it is true also on the personal one. We truly feel that we created something new, something different, something that no one has thought of. Our path is unique. Even though we are not the first ones in this world.
This thought of “I created something new” as opposed to “nothing is really new”, is an old argument of thought. On one hand it is written in the holy writings of the Torah that the world was created for me, and on the other hand it says that I was created for the world.
Both of these sentences are obviously true.
We must feel that we are creating something new at all times, and we must also realize that the path we walk on was walked on since the beginning of time. Hashem wants us to be an active part of His world and yet He also wishes to keep us humble and in our place by remembering that we are all just players in a story that Hashem already wrote from beginning to end.
On the one hand if we thought all the time that we have nothing to change or do since it’s all written down, and we are just playing out a role, we might not be motivated to think, do, or change anything about our life or situation. And on the other side of the coin we mustn’t fall into the trap of “Me and my strength brought me to what I am today.” This balance between these two worlds is what being alive and especially being a Jew is all about. How do we juggle between these two worlds?
The events of our day on a personal level and the events of the world on a global one, are the guidelines which will keep us focused between I can and will do it all on my own, to the understanding that Hashem is running the world and we are begging Him for His help and support.
When we try to live our daily lives connected to both of these sides of the coin, we can sometimes hear what it is that Hashem wants from us, personally and collectively. When a person is ill or has experienced some kind of pain or challenge, each one, from where they are connected to G-d, tries to understand what and why they are going through. They try to see how it all really connects to Hashem and to the path and role that was set forth for them since the beginning of time.
And other times, when we are well and energetic we can create some new energy every day, a new smile and a “new” path full of hope and direction that makes us feel we created this moment all by ourselves. Both of these realizations are necessary for the world to exist; both our humbleness and our creative mode. If we only felt that we are just actors which we indeed are, we might not try to change or create anything for the betterment of the world. This ability to create is essential. And yet without humbleness we are lost for sure. By having the creative side alive in our souls we are always looking for signs and for clues as to what it is we must do.
Otherwise we might just be passive and do nothing since it’s all written before us in any case. However, Hashem intended that we would have both thoughts in mind. One that everything we see isn’t new, to everything is new and we can do a lot to change the path.
Hashem stirs us from our comfort and passiveness so that we can pray, so that we can take action, and so that we can create something “New” in a place that needs our intervention.
This challenging time period we are experiencing now was all written down and set forth way before our times, and on the other hand, it’s a time that Hashem is telling us that he needs our intervention. The pain, discomfort, the change, the helplessness and the sadness we are feeling now are all intended for us, to stir us and to move us, to create a new prayer and new thoughts, a new cry out to Hashem for help and for the full redemption. Sometimes we are so comfortable and passively living out our lives that we forget to create and to connect to a higher level, and to see what we must do on a personal level and what to do on the global one. And unfortunately we pray and seek out Hashem much deeper, when we are in pain or suffering.
Last Shabbat I was in the village of Meron which is the resting place of the great Tana Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Usually during this time of the year it’s full of people since it’s right before Lag BaOmer. And now it was empty, maybe 10 people. My emotions were so mixed together. Sadness that the place was empty, gratefulness that I had the merit of being there despite that there was almost no one. I felt that Hashem was showing me all these emotions so that I can pray from a deeper level of understanding and feel the pain of this time period, where we must only pray in small groups and separately. And in this way I will pray for the final gathering and joy of all the Jewish people and the world at the final redemption, please G-d soon.