Rediscovering Awe

WonderThe presence of Mashiach is revealed on Acharon Shel Pesach, and this revelation has relevance to all Israel: Pesach is medaleg, “skipping over” (rather than orderly progress), and leil shimurim, the “protected night.” In general the mood of Pesach is one of liberty. Then Pesach ends, and we find ourselves tumbling headlong into the outside world. This is where Mashiach’s revealed presence comes into play – imbuing us with a powerful resoluteness that enables us to maintain ourselves in the world.

-from Torah lesson: Chumash: Acharei Mot, Revi’i with Rashi
Compiled and arranged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, in 5703 (1943)
from the talks and letters of the sixth Chabad Rebbe
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory
Translated by Yitschak Meir Kagan

This is very much what I said in yesterday’s morning meditation, so why am I repeating myself? I don’t feel like it’s time to let go of this theme and move on. I am still passing from one state to another, like the season passing from winter to spring.

I mowed and edged my lawn for the first time this year just the other day. Thanks to my previous application of fertilizer, the lawn, especially in some areas, had grown quite tall and green. Things were a little “out of control,” but nothing my trusty lawn mower and I couldn’t handle.

But I find that I’m not ready for spring yet. I still want to dress in warm sweaters and heavy coats against the winter’s chill. I’d just as soon Persephone stay with her husband Pluto in the underworld for a month or two longer, rather than rejoin her mother Demeter in the world above (if you’ll pardon my momentary lapse into Greek mythology). I suppose having “failed” Passover this year, I’d just as soon not have to surrender the commemoration of redemption and hope, for leaving it behind is like leaving my sense of renewal undone and incomplete.

But time and the will of God does not bend to the desires and laments of man, and so spring has come, Passover has ended, and it’s time to mow the lawn, again. As I “tumble headlong” into the world after Pesach, I can only hope and pray that the “revealed presence” of the Messiah will indeed imbue me with “a powerful resoluteness that” enables me to “maintain myself in the world” beyond.

In my elementary attempts at learning acceptance and reaching for the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7 ESV), I find that I have no choice but to surrender myself to not only the Almighty, but to whatever circumstances He allows in my life. But in the end, surrender is part of what He wants from me…and perhaps from all of us.

With this preparedness to surrender his soul to G-d, one should begin to recite the morning benedictions: “Blessed are You…,”

Now, all one’s intent in the surrender of his soul to G-d through Torah and prayer, to elevate the spark of G-dliness therein — in the soul — back to its source, should be solely for the purpose of causing Him gratification, like the joy of a king when his only son returns to him, after having been released from captivity or imprisonment…

-Likutei Amarim, end of Chapter 41

It seems that being released from captivity does not necessarily require a “feeling” but only the act and the will to surrender to God…to study…to pray…and to move on beyond failures, real or perceived. It requires that I find the ability to reach inside and to discover a new or renewed service to God apart from how I may feel about anything else.

If you are serving the same G-d today as you served yesterday, who are you serving but yourself?

Can G-d be frozen and defined? Does He get older with each day? Does He eventually, then, become of a relic of the past?

Where there is love and where there is awe, each day brings a discovery of endless wonder.

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
“No Repeats”
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

With each dawn, God is new, and so is my potential for the discovery of awe and an endless wonder in Him.


4 thoughts on “Rediscovering Awe”

  1. Wow: “Can G-d be frozen and defined? Does He get older with each day? Does He eventually, then, become of a relic of the past?”

    Good both-and thinking. God does not change. But he doesn’t stay the same (relative to our experience).

  2. One of the mysteries of God, I think. That He can be eternally unchangable and new and wonderful with each passing second. Thanks for commenting, Derek.

  3. “If you are serving the same G-d today as you served yesterday”

    Because the nature of a stone is not to fly
    it remains in the air only as long as the thrower’s force acts up on it.
    And in the inner Torah the same is said of this world, which, comes from nothing and whose nature, therefore, is not to exist.
    It remains only as long as G-d pushes it into existence.
    Think of the Optimism of G-d then, how…every second, He REcreates our lives—
    I who have not served Him honestly, and you…who perhaps believe you have not served him well. (Yehoshua November ) one of my favorite poets

  4. Thanks for the poetry quote, Pat. This seems to be one of my lesser liked “meditations” but then, I didn’t say anything provocative or controversial.

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