Emotional paralysis is far worse than physical paralysis.
ברוך אתה ה’ א-לוהינו מלך העולם המכין מצעדי גבר.
Baruch ata Hashem, Elokeinu melech haolam, hamachin metzadei gaver.
Blessed is Hashem, our Lord, King of the Universe who guides our footsteps.
In returning to the body in the subterranean world I inhabit now, I plead to G-d to allow me to resurface. We are told in this week’s parasha, Re’eh, “See” that you are surrounded by more blessings. At your moment of judgment, your body will advocate and your soul will accuse. But know that your soul loves you more; strives for you to have meaning in this life: That is the infinite Good of the Almighty.
We raise the soul through our connection with G-d and in Parashat Re’eh, we are given the blueprint and the details of how to honour that connection. It is through the path of mitzvot, the Code of Laws Moshe sets out in his second discourse to the Jewish People—from our mode of worship to our mode of eating. We are always given the choice to adhere or to reject; to draw near or to withdraw from G-d, the Kadosh Baruch Hu.
They tell me to breathe. I look about on the physical level, and I only see the murk. I seek the ruach hakodesh, the holy inspiration—G-d’s Breath and my whole self yearns to embody that luminescence. To live humanly is to believe in the pure and the profound. To live Jewishly, as taught in parashat Re’eh is to choose the blessing over the curse. I choose blessing and feel blessed. Although the light of the first day of Creation is everywhere, we want the light of the sixth day always near. That’s why you were created.
Of course, G-d relates to us individually, but wants us to relate interpersonally and through community. That’s why the first day’s light is all pervasive. If we seek the Divine Image and align with it, sacred community is realized. G-d expects Am Yisrael, the people of Israel, to lead this cause. How?
By sharing our calendar’s year in ritual, symbol, celebration, glorious sacred time; G-d invites us into eternality. Our holy days participate in the Almighty’s time; our holy offerings and worship into the Almighty’s space. This is G-d’s command to Israel in creating of ourselves, our Holy people. Choose the blessing and you will be blessed as the Am Segula, the treasured nation G-d intends us to be.
Rabbi Ronnie Cahana