Give it up for the ONE and ONLY

by Shaul David Judelman
Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo

Shana Tova… May we all be inhaled to the book of life…and may this torah sharing be for the healing of those in need– Chayim Ya’kov ben Raizel in particular.
We humans are unique in this creation, as we love to tell and occasionally laud ourselves… “Yes we speak, yes we can search truth”…and yes, we have the inimitable distinction of causing exile. That’s right, no plant or tree ever caused itself to feel out of place, detached from its source of meaning, adrift from its cause. But we humans, deal with those sorts of conditions constantly. To walk through life sticking to our ideals, beholding constantly to our chosen path is not in our daily human nature. We are constantly unsure, and even the most spiritually aware are destined for a process of mis-steps and redirections amidst the sea of choices and decisions we constantly make. But “there’s still time to change the road you’re on,” sang the Led Zeppelin. That’s right.. perhaps the most incredible secret of Creation, is that of Teshuva. That even though my choices, or even the choices that the world before has made, may have led me to a place I don’t want to be… The moment in front of me is entirely mine, and entirely fresh for a new beginning. The greatest teaching of teshuva is that “the future, is wide open”
But what is the “right road?” Where is the Divinely constructed path?
Rebbe Nachman in Torah 78 of Likutei Moharan, which was a Torah told on Rosh Hashana 205 years ago, teaches that “the beginning of the creation was in order to reveal ‘midat malchuto’, a graspable version of the Creators Sovereignty.” This vast world of histories, evolutions conflicts and life is here to learn and reveal a Unity within it all, between all the components within, and the Will that stems from Beyond. A true unified system where all paths will recourse and flow back to that Unity, that One who sit upon His Throne and rule us all…A sense of togetherness that could be detected in the way members treat themselves, each other and even in how they react to unknowns. Just as in a classic sovereignty, there is a common currency, language and project of national binding. And even though there are many different roles being played- there is a unity pervading each one’s action. All profits are included in the Gross National, every service offered and exchanged, each house built, every old lady helped across the street adds to the grand project. On the deepest, sharpest level, our world too functions this way. There is of course the grand question… how do we the peasants hear the Kings command? How do we hear the Creator speak that Will?
When we say Shema Yisrael… our eyes are closed… our ears are open to receive our ultimate dispatch from the Creator. Just like on Shabbat when we cease our constructions and actions, seeking a chance to listen in to what is really being said, from within ourselves, and from beyond. This is a tremendous statement on the part of a creature like a human, that can perfectly well choose to ignore anything greater than ourselves. We are indeed the king of the Jungle, and this is a Divine Will that it be so. We should feel secure in our illusion. Secure that is, that it came from Hashem, this incredible masking of the Unity. In looking for that Unity, we find hiddeness, constant wondering, unknowns that confuse and bewilder us in our lives and offer never to be resolved.
When we choose to acknowledge our unknowing, our limited power—we touch a deep place, we cross a threshold of what our existence means, something beyond my control …in that, “the Lion crowns the King,” as the reggae artist love to say. We humble ourselves to that which is beyond. For a creature whose main thing in the world is taught in our tradition as speech- the crossing of our threshold will be LISTENING. This is Rosh HaShana, the day on which we gather, hundreds even thousands of “speakers” together— and stand in silence, listening for that sound.. that simple blast of Shofar…
Sometimes the only question in life, is when will we admit that we are not in control. How long will I struggle to hold on before relinquishing my feeling of power? Pushing the hour, forcing it, forging forward on a path with no end in sight, holding on to an untenable argument, because I lack the humility to …
On Rosh Hashana, the day of judgement, we have two choices, to stand with a fear of the power that could prove us wrong… or to rejoice in our own choosing to crown the King. Why is there fear? The only fear would be that “I am NOT crowning the king.” The simcha of Rosh Hashana is unlike any other—there is a simple and tremendous joy in choosing to listen. That silence and listening, is a opportunity for unifying our individual separate selves with something so much greater, something that transcends my own life, the synagogue, and even the Jewish people. It is the joy of a wedding, of two people choosing to acknowledge their own limitedness and sacrifice their exclusive power of choice in action for the sake of becoming Whole. There is indeed a melting of my defined self into an entity that is greater than me… It is the beginning of a mikve that will purify my action. Both past and present can be fixed by this choosing from the deepest space within. By receiving the Creator as King on Rosh Hashana, we have a chance to rejoice for the whole world as One. And in doing so, we surprise the Boss by delivering the grand project of the Creation on their desk the day before it was to be requested, just waiting for a signature.

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