- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On July 20, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
If you want to learn how to apologize, do not look to our national leaders. Instead, read what the 12 boys plus one coach of the soccer team offered when they emerged from the hospital. They apologized to their parents, the world community, and the family of Saman Gunan, the Navy SEAL who died in his effort to assist in the rescue. Articulately. Profusely. Respectfully. They made no excuses. They did not mince words or rearrange them to their benefit. They recognized exactly what they did and owned their transgression. Some of the boys said that they may even grow up to be Navy SEALS so they “can save others’ lives.” These boys want to make right and feel great remorse for “all the fuss they caused.”[i]
This is a story of inspiration, of leadership, and of moral character.
We are now in a dark week in the Jewish calendar because of the spiritual melancholy we commemorate on Tisha B’Av for the destruction of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, and other momentous, but sad and devastating occasions of the Jewish people.
Just as we open a new book of the Torah for this week’s portion to delve into Deuteronomy, the prophetic reading for this week, reminds us how quickly national stability can crumble because of selfishness, misleading elocution, and self righteous indignation. As Ecclesiastes noted, there is nothing new under the sun. Contemporary stories have similar ancient roots.
The Biblical book of Isaiah begins with the word, Hazon, which means prophecy or vision. (Isaiah 1:1) He saw clearly the problem of a people and nation that turned their backs on doing what is right. As Proverbs correctly states: For lack of vision, people lose restraint. (29:18) Isaiah yearned for the people’s connection to a larger vision of integrity and righteousness. He foresaw the pending disaster of destruction.
Next week, we will begin the ascent of seven weeks toward Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in our own journey toward returning to our best selves. It is a call to resist our baseless behaviors toward the release of that which is good and just.
The name of this Shabbat is Shabbat Hazon. It expresses a longing and hope that vision can lift people out of despair. It takes effort and work to repair the damage waged by sinfulness. The prophet wanted us to consider the consequences of unfettered greed in order to turn back to God and set in motion our own turning.
The holidays will be here before we know it. They will be waiting for us to arrive. We can look back to this week and remember the beautiful light these Thai boys shined onto a dark moment in history.
We are OUTSIDE for our soulful Qabbalat Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE.
Torah study begins at 9:00 a.m. with a brief service and an engaging discussion.
Share your thoughts and reflections with me HERE.
[i] NYTimes, 7/19/18 Thai Team Tells of Cave Rescue