Saturday, August 22, 2009
Shabbat -- the power of NOW
We just spent a truly amazing first Shabbat with my brother and his family in Beit Shemesh. My sister, who is back for Shana bet, was there too. It was magical to watch our kids become best friends with their cousins and we found comfort in being with family who had gone through this before. In addition, those of us that could not fit in the townhouse stayed across the street with friends we know from Edison and we even had the surprise of bumping into good friends who were visiting from the US this weekend. On top of that, my Rosh Yeshiva from MMY, Rabbi David, is the Rav of my brother’s shul. We felt so at home and it all felt so familiar that I forgot where I was and that I was in the middle of a HUGE move and life change. I was actually taken aback when I was standing on the porch as the sun was setting and I took in the magnificent view. Then it hit me that we were having this wonderful Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael. Not that I had forgotten, it’s just that the focus had become so much on who we were with and the beauty of it all. Shabbat is always a chance to ‘get lost in the moment.’ To leave the past week behind and to let go of worrying about the next week. But this week, it was especially important for us. As I am learning quickly, a great tool for making Aliyah is to learn how to live in the present. In the few moments that I was down on that first afternoon, the image of Lot’s wife looking back at Sodom came into my mind. She turned into salt, the symbol of preservation – of preserving things of the past. It was then that I realized that if I look back at what I left, if I compare it to what I have now, and if I can’t let go, this process will be sad and difficult. Likewise, if I think about all of the challenges that we may face in the coming days, months, and years I’ll be terribly overwhelmed to the point of (analysis) paralysis. Shabbos was a great time to let go and just go with the flow. It was a celebration of all of the blessings in our lives at this moment. I will try more than ever to take that with me in to this week. That is the power of living in the NOW – that ability to be happy with the moment, and that is my secret to getting through this year!