We are about to have a quiet Shabbat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur coming up, and then the festivities of Sukkot. Celebrations are so much fun, and they also make us appreciate down time, quiet, just immediate family time, and a rest in between. Shabbat is the Day of Rest, every week we get to completely turn off the world and take a break from it, it can wait, nothing is more important or a priority over this rest. I was just reading that on the seventh day God created REST, it wasn’t that he rested himself, but the concept, the necessity, the balance of rest was created, and it keeps us whole, fresh, energized, and ready for the week ahead. On Shabbat we stop creating, we just enjoy what is, the rest of the week its go time, contributing to the world, living our purpose, shining our light.
I want to share a story I just read, and feel like it’s all about learning the lessons in the ups and the downs. Our Rabbi was talking about the importance of the downs, because without them, we would not know the ups. Here is an amazing lesson from a Rabbi in Atlanta, Georgia:
Just when I thought we were ready to begin construction, we luckily encountered some more setbacks.
I say luckily because although it was a setback it only lasted two days, and it taught me a life lesson that will last for years.
Before construction begins, the code here requires that special fencing be up around the areas that will be disturbed when the work gets under way. The fencing protects from silt and mud running off from our site onto the neighbor, and also safeguards us from accidently destroying protected trees or working in sections of our property which the zoning regulations require that we do not disturbe.
In this part of the country, parcels of land have iron pins fixed in the ground at the corners of the property which identify the precise boundaries of ownership. When purchasing a property these pins help identify the exact borders of the property, and when undertaking a construction project they are used to calculate the location of the buildable and workable areas.
When the surveyors arrived last week to mark the ‘clearing limits’ they encountered a problem. The iron pins at the corners of the property could not be found. Years of rain, dirt build up and land settling had caused the pins to recess into the ground and they were now not locatable.
Without clear knowledge of the boundaries the work could not begin. My suggestion that they simply ‘ballpark’ the location and get started was dismissed with a smile. Working even a few inches out of bounds could lead to troublesome results.
After several days of effort, using metal detectors and shovels the pins were finally located on Sunday afternoon just a few hours before Rosh Hashana began. They were dug up and marked and we were on our way.
As the sun set and Rosh Hashana began, I could not have asked for a better lesson at a better time.
Each of us at birth is given a parcel of land in the form of our life. We spend most of our time tending to our turf and trying to make the best out of it. We plant, prune, grow, invest, enjoy, create, develop and constantly seek to make our life a success. Yet without clearly defined borders and boundaries we can end up running wild.
A successful and meaningful life is one that is guided by firm and objective principles of morals and ethics, established by the creator of all life. When our moral compass is anchored by firm pins in the ground that define our boundaries, we know our red lines and where not to stray.
At times we might lose sight of those pins or they may get buried deep in the ground, and we begin to wander. Yet the pins are never truly lost. With a little bit of patience, and a shovel or an ax, we can dig them back up and get back on the right path.
The Jewish New Year is one such opportune time to reestablish our borders and boundaries and connect with our starting point, which is the Torah, from where everything else flows.
Find the light within,
Let it shine,