Every Shabbat there are lessons, and I love to learn the deeper meaning of these lessons. Today’s portion of the Torah talks about the splitting of the sea, and how even though it was a miracle that people witnessed, it did not automatically make them 100% believe. Faith and trust comes from inside of us, and it is a choice, and that was this weeks lesson. You cannot make someone believe by force, or by something grand, it comes to each person differently, and nobody else can make the decision for them.
Here are a few other lessons that were so powerful. Did you know there is a blessing after going to the bathroom? Gratitude for everything working as it should.
I know the people at work often wonder what I’m doing when I come out of the restroom and just stand in the hallway talking to myself! This is why. The Divine in the mundane. Shabbat shalom from the Gush.
One of the recurring themes of the Torah is the importance of seeing
the Divine in everyday events. This week, the Torah teaches us about
the splitting of the sea for the Jewish people. In the same parsha,
the Torah discusses a person’s sustenance (Exodus, 16:35) and health
(ibid, 15:26). We tend to take so many things in life for granted, so
the Torah places these topics in the same parsha to teach us that if
we look hard enough at the common occurrences in our lives, we will
see the Divine in them. The most mundane event can become the
equivalent of the splitting of the sea. In fact, King David teaches us
that by looking into ourselves, we can see the hand of G-d. The Rabbis
were sensitive to this and instituted a blessing that we say every
time we use the bathroom: “Blessed are You, the Eternal, Who heals all
flesh and does wondrous acts.” What this blessing is stating is that
the Almighty created what no human can: a pump that can work for 120
years without a break, a filter that never needs replacing, and a
computer that orchestrates billions of cells in our body and never
crashes. If we see the Divine in these seemingly mundane things, we
will realize that there is really nothing mundane in the world and
every day will become as wondrous as the day the sea split.
Interestingly, the morning prayer includes the section of the
splitting of the sea so that we can wake up and start our day with a
sense of awe and gratitude.
This was also amazing how it is important to keep growing and changing to get stronger.
We didn’t have any plans to visit, yet it turned out to be one of the most important stops on our trip, at least for me.
Visiting a furniture factory is not how you plan to spend your time in Israel, yet this factory was different.
They manufacture a full variety of Synagogue furniture including the Bimah, Ark and Pews. They make beautiful stuff and their sales rep ‘happened’ to have visited us last summer in Alpharetta to pitch their products for use in Rashi’s Campus, now we ‘happened’ to have been staying at a hotel in Kibbutz Lavi where their factory is located, and I ‘happen’ to have a fascination with production lines and manufacturing facilities, so we decided to connect the dots and walk over to get a tour of the factory.
The concept is simple. Large panels of wood come in, beautiful Synagogue furniture comes out. The process is complex. The product is upscale. The inspiration it gave me was priceless.
The first 60 seconds of the tour was all I really needed. The rest was commentary.
Large panels of beautiful wood – Mahogany, Oak, Beech, to name just a few – arrive at the loading dock, and would soon be transformed from simple material elements into vehicles for spirituality.
Upon arrival, the panels were first put through a process to drain them of any moisture. They needed to be totally dry before they could go into production.
The next step is what caught my attention and hasn’t left me since. The panels were first cut down into small strips of wood, then glued back together again to create the planks that would be used in the furniture.
I wondered why they would do that. What was the purpose of taking something so beautiful in its natural state, cut it down and then glue it back together?
What the guide then explained to us in passing, has explained what guides us since Rashi’s passing.
He told us that the large panels are indeed beautiful and would be ideal. Yet sometimes they develop cracks and then can easily brake. By gluing small pieces back together to form a new panel, the wood becomes much more resilient, and stronger than in its original state.
In woodworking, the art of connecting pieces of wood together is called ‘Joinery’. In life it’s called the same. And the result is a unit more resilient and less affected by changes in humidity, moisture or exposure to other elements. Joinery and bonding with others that love and care, can provide strength and resilience through life’s most challenging moments.
At this factory they use a process called Radio Frequency Gluing which uses intense heat to put the pieces back together in a way that it becomes practically unbreakable.
As we celebrate our daughters Bat Mitzvah this weekend, I thank G-D for His Radio Frequency Gluing which helped bond our family in such a way that we can never be broken.
Beauty, Truth, Reality, and Revealed Good are all around us,
Just stay open,
Grow, Learn, Trust,