I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello by
A heavy heart may be the weightiest thing we lug around. It is so hard to forge forward when we are laden with despair, sadness, fear and regrets. Our endless romanticizing of what could have been, what should have been, keeps us bound to the past with little hope for tomorrow. Instead of burying yesterday, we bury the future and all its possibilities by encumbering them with all our gripes against what life has “done” to us and how unfair God and circumstance have treated us.
I, too, feel compelled to cry when I look at the grim parts of my life that are unbeknownst to my readers. And so the tears flow easily when I read this week’s final chapter in the Bible which speaks of Moses’ death. Poor Moses. After all he did for humanity and God, how unfair it is that he never got to enter the Holy Land. Every year when I read the text I’m hoping it will have a different ending--perhaps in the sequel.
But just three sentences after mentioning the passing of Moses, the greatest prophet of all time, it says that the people mourned for him for 30 days and then the mourning was over. There is definitely a lesson to be learned here for us all: Mourning and sadness, even over the loss of one as great as Moses, must have limits. We have to always move onward and upward. Moses’ final words to the nation of Israel were not recriminations for past behaviors, nor nostalgic sentiments. He parted this world with blessings for the future, a future we must embrace with enthusiasm and faith. When we cater to despair we are worshiping the angel of death; when we cling to hope and refresh our hearts only then do we have a chance to grasp the Tree of Life.
It is customary in all synagogues to immediately read the first chapter of Genesis which speaks of creation right after reading the final chapter of Deuteronomy, wherein Moses dies. This, too, is symbolic of the course our own personal lives must take. Goodbyes don’t have to lead us to dead ends but rather can bring us to new portals and fresh luck. Every ending contains within it a new beginning and bright opportunities. So take your despair off of life support and instead give love, faith, hope, courage, optimism and joy a new dose of oxygen to animate your days and months ahead.
Have an easy fast & may you all be inscribed in the Book of Life!
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