On Instagram, you barely see the shadows. You see smiles, bountiful materialism, inspiring quotes — you see gratefulness and having and hashtag #blessings
. You have to look closely to see pain. You have to be brave to say you’re struggling.
All the more so if it’s a spiritual struggle. We’re all working on something. But in 2018, we put our successes forward. We’re not always honest or vulnerable enough to say “This is where I can be more spiritually present.” Today, on Tisha B’av — we fast to feel the lack. How thousands of years ago, we lost our living physical “House of Gd” that connected us, united us, inspired us — and helped us live wholesomely, as spiritual beings in a material world.
Today, an otherwise light-focused religion sees the shadow.
Even as a Jewish community, we have what we need: Jewish schools, kosher food, the right to practice religion freely. Our non Jewish neighbors and friends increasingly respect and understand us. We are so comfortable. Who needs a Temple?
But perhaps today we can all look in the shadows. Not to be sad, but to be honest. Perhaps we can find an area that could be more in tune. More sensitive. More commited. More kind. Maybe we can replace the inspiring quote with some real introspection. Maybe we can hold off on the “10 things I’m grateful for,” for “10 ways I’d like to grow.” Maybe we can learn and connect to what life was like, what it could be like, what WE would be like, hearing the other-worldly music and prayers from the #beishamikdash
When we lost our temple, we lost the reality of how CONNECTED and ELEVATED we can live. We started to have to SEEK, to find the Gdliness in ourselves and each other. Our work became harder (and yes, also more valuable), so sometimes we settled for less instead of demanding more from ourselves.
I prefer to view my relationship with Gd through rose colored glasses. But sometimes to grow, we have to pause the glossy positivity and stand in our shadow to say “this is where I can use some light.” May this #tishabav
be the last reminder we need, and may all our own personal acts of goodness and kindness tip the communal scale to good, for good. #moshiachnow