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2019 Ekev

08/24/2019 12:00:00 AM

Aug24

Rabbi Glick: Eventually We Will All Hear

Shabbat shalom. Mary McNeal was an orthopedic surgeon. While on holiday in South America, she had a kayaking accident. Her kayak was pinned under the water and she was trapped. Despite great effort by her companion, she couldn’t be rescued and she was declared dead.

 

This is where she had the beginning of an incredible near death experience.

 

Her book is called to “Heaven and Back. ”She eventually woke up with severe lung problems and broken limbs.

 

What was the outcome of her experience?

 

The same as so many people who have near death experiences.

 

She felt that she had a message to share with people.

 

When she came back, as so many of them do, she was filled with a feeling of love and peace.

 

What did she want to share?

 

Do not worry. It is going to be okay.

 

The same as Jacob after he flees from Esau, whose blessing he has just stolen. His life is in complete upheaval. He is running into the unknown, leaving behind his family. He is in physical danger.

 

He doesn’t have a near death experience but he has a vision in a dream, of angels ascending and descending the ladder up to heaven.

 

When he wakes he is filled with wonder and awe. Is this the house of God and I did not know it?

 

He finds new comfort and courage for the long road ahead. It is going to be okay.

 

Yeheyeh Beseder

 

What is probably the most popular Israeli expression, beseder, everything is in order. It’s okay.

 

Because what is the greatest worry that we all have? That it is not going to be okay.

 

That our life is collapsing. We will lose our job. How will we make a living?

 

The stock market is crashing. We will lose our savings.

 

Our loved ones will get ill and will suffer.

 

We ourselves will experience suffering, mental or physical.

 

On one hand, there is no getting away from these truths of life.

 

Any of these could happen and they do happen throughout our lives.

 

They are unexpected. and we cannot get away from them.

 

There is also the deeper fear… that our life is heading in a different direction than we'd always thought and hoped for and aspired to.

 

We wronged our brother as Jacob and do not know if the universe will forgive us.

 

What is the greatest regret of those who are dying?

 

According to a study by a nurse Bonnie Ware, it is that they did not live the life that they truly wanted to live. They did not fulfill themselves. They miss out on their dreams. They went off course.

 

A friend of mine said once after finding himself making a major life decision he never anticipated and was stuck in. He knew he'd made the wrong decision. He said he’d always had the sense of certainty within of walking on the road that was meant for him. That certainty gave him great power and purpose in life and now he wondered….

 

But he said he couldn’t believe that was the end of it. He wanted to imagine that it was as those books for children, ‘go to this page for this ending’, or that page for the alternative.’ He had chosen a different page. He hoped the story would realign.

 

In the End, It is the Only Way to Think About It

 

We can only hope that life will be as good or maybe better since, turning to a different page than expected, forced us to go deeper and required more humility from us.

 

We pray that the book is different than we think.

 

We fear getting off course but at times the strangest turns take us the furthest.

 

I remember hearing my father saying for 29 years, I wake up every morning thinking, what am I doing in the south of France?

 

But what a blessing also...

 

In our parashah, Moses speaks to the people veHaha ekev tishmeun, it will be if they hear my commandments and observe them carefully, God will favor you and all blessings will come your way...

 

The Gemara has a saying, ain haya ele lashon simchah. The Torah does not use the words vehaya - and it will be - except when it is an occasion of joy.

 

The Torah only says it will be, when it knows that it will trully happen.

 

It is sure.

 

It is not if, but when.

 

In the case of our parsha, it knows we will reach our goal,

 

Through all of the twists and turns of life.

We will finally come to hear. We will understand God’s words and commandments. We will hear our best selves.

 

One day we will all arrive at our appointed destination. We do not have to worry.

No matter how long the journey.

 

In the End That is What it Means to Be a Person of Faith

 

Not to allow ourselves to be discouraged or lose our hope.

 

But to believe that we will find the resources within.

 

We will get our act together.

 

We are all on a journey and all of us are striving toward the goal, each is at a different stage but in the end, we all will reach our destination and experience the joy of fulfilling our life and going home.

 

We can look at our lives and wonder what are we doing with them?

 

It has been 3500 years and the truth is that we are still not living up to Moses’ words in Deuteronomy.

 

It is a work in progress.

 

The fact we are still working towards it shows the depth of that vision.

 

As we continue to try to: serve God and our fellow human beings with all of our hearts minds and souls.

 

To remember who we are and where we come from. From Egypt. From slavery.

 

To observe the ways that we know will lead us and our world to greater fulfillment and justice.

 

To make love the center of our lives.

 

That is the spirit of the weeks after tisha bav. We find the faith. We will come home sooner or later.

 

The Talmud tells the story of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hanania who asked a young man sitting at a crossroad, “Which is the way to the town?” The young man pointed to one of the paths and said, “This way is short but long. The other way is long but short.” Yehoshua ben Hanania set out on the first path, quickly arrived at the town, but found his way blocked by gardens and orchards. He then returned to the young man and said, “Didn’t you tell me that this path was short?” “I did,” said the young man, “but I also warned you that it was long.”

 

We should not fear the longer path, or the different page, but remember, that we will get there, every station along the way is important and valuable.

 

We will all hear.

 

One day.

 

All that we need to hear.

 

Which is why I believe in the Kabbalistic idea of reincarnation…this life or the next.

 

The journey is long and the opportunities many.

 

This page, that page.

 

Vehaya Ekev Tishmaun

In the end, it will be okay, everything will be fulfilled - everyone will reach a state of joy and wellbeing.

 

Shabbat shalom.

Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781