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Rabbi's Week in Review - 5/29/2023

05/29/2023 12:29:54 PM


I have been under the weather for almost two weeks — certainly not life-threatening, and I don’t mention it to elicit sympathy, notwithstanding a modicum of whining and wimpiness inflicted upon Fay at home. If I could characterize it in a slightly broader perspective, my body has become increasingly annoying with age.

It has been awhile since I have come down with an illness. (I had Covid with mild symptoms in January 2022.) Pondering my sense of frustration over being less than 100 percent, I have a couple of takeaways from this experience.

First, my own illness has caused me to think about those with chronic health issues — how they deal with discomfort and/or chronic pain day in, day out, and how difficult that must be. And how I can show greater sensitivity to those experiencing chronic illness and pain.  

My other takeaway is in association with the Birkat HaKohanim, the Priestly Benediction. An interpretation of the threefold blessing is that first, G-d blesses us with physical well-being, and it is only after that we receive G-d’s blessing of spiritual health. In other words, without our physical and emotional health, we are greatly hindered in our pursuit of a spiritual life, connecting our lives to a loftier purpose.

In our prayer life, and in how we study our sacred Jewish texts, we find meaning beyond the everyday. We have the opportunity to discuss the big life questions. It is our quest to discover and share with one another the unknowns in the world that may open doors to greater truth. Yet that pursuit of finding greater meaning and purpose in our lives cannot occur without our health.  

It is in making room for those who face great physical and emotional challenges that we create a more inclusive Jewish community.

Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784