19 August 2018

The Chagim: A Light in the Darkness

8 Elul 5778

From the Introduction to the book The Spirit of the Seasons, Insights into the Yomim Tovim by Jonathan Shooter...
The man stumbled through the forest in the pouring rain. Thick darkness enveloped him. He had a torch, but the rain had extinguished it long ago. The noise of the howling wolves petrified him. The crackling of the branches snapping underfoot frightened him. Soaking wet, he continued. Was he getting deeper in the forest, or was he on the way out of it? Would he even make it to daybreak, who knows what was lurking in the trees. Suddenly, through the puddles he noticed that he was on a pathway, which led to a crossroads. But which of the four directions was the right way to go? Then he stumbled upon a signpost pointing to all four directions, it would surely point him in the right way. The pitch black of the night however rendered the sign useless. He couldn't remain still for long, the driving rain was chilling him to the bone. He didn't want to carry on as he might get deeper and deeper into the thick forest. What was he to do? And then it happened. A bolt of lightning struck and lit up the night sky. He read the signpost and with renewed knowledge that he was on the right path, he continued on his way.

Throughout the year we are at a crossroads in the darkness looking for guidance as to the way to conduct our lives. A thick spiritual darkness covers the world preventing us from seeing clearly. Then we experience the festivals which show us the way. Their messages give us guidance and even when they have passed, we are spiritually uplifted and sure of the way to continue....
Shavua tov!

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