Monday, November 15, 2010

End of week musings

Over dinner Friday night, the host asked a question - what was your Godly moment of the week??
And blessedly enough, I had one to share.
As the sun was setting over the Judean hills on Thursday evening, after a long day in Cholon (a city near Tel Aviv)--I was feeling overwhelmed by the blessing of sight. I had just spent my 2nd time in דיאולוג בחשיכה, Dialogue in the Dark, a fantastic place where you can experience the world as the blind see it. Guided by a woman who is completely blind, married and with two children, we got to experience a "boat ride", heard music, went to the "shuk" and bought chocolates, all in complete darkness.  It was incredible to see how all our other senses were heightened--you suddenly heard everything so clearly, you could touch things and know what they were.  You end up using your friends around you to help you out. Everyone holds each other for support. I was  blown away to experience this, finding myself lost and afraid at times, while our guide Michal was able to tell me exactly where to go. It was as though she could truly see.
The most amazing moment was when we sat around at the end, eating the food we had bought from the "shuk", able to ask any questions we wanted to. The girls I was with were extremely fascinated, and eager to ask personal questions just because they could. Michal was very gracious and answered most honestly.  The question that hit me was when they asked her "Isn't it weird that you've never seen your children?" And she responded so clearly, "Of course I've seen them.  Just not in the way that you do."
And thats just it. Most of us are blessed with the sense of sight. And we use it to experience G-d's world in the way that we know best. Only sometimes we let our sight take hold, and rule all our other senses. What would happen if we didnt see for a moment all the external trappings of this world, and listened instead? Listened to our brothers, to our parents, to our friends, and to our enemies. So much of what divides us is based on the externals. But if we listened--deeply, genuinely, and with our hearts open, we might be amazed to discover how much we are all the same.
Its so interesting. In Israel, we are faced with a scary, threatening rain shortage.  Its the middle of november, and we are experiencing summer conditions! It is brutally hot, dry with no rain in sight. And I am always bothered that it seems as though we are not doing something right, it seems pretty clear from the shema that we recite every day that if we only did certain things, we should be blessed with abundance and rain. But as my shabbat host pointed out so beautifully- in shema, it says "v'haya im shamoa tishmeu et mitzvotay..le'ahava et hashem elokechem..v'natati matar artzechem b'ito.." usually translated as "if you heed my love hashem..i will give rain.." but the word thats used isn't "ta'asu" rather its "shamo tishmeu" its all about the listening. We must listen deeply to what G-d wants of us. Only then will He bless us with the rain we so badly need. And if we listen, maybe we'll eventually be able to really see.