Train in the Distance

May 5th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Holidays, Portion of the Week
What is the point of this story

What information pertains

The thought that life could be better

Is woven indelibly

Into our hearts

And our brains

Paul Simon: Train in the Distance

The point of the story of the State of Israel, as is that of the story of the Jewish people, is that we live with the conviction that life can always be better. This is the idea of Israel and is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains. Why else would we be so committed to attempting to make peace with people who have vowed to destroy us? How else could we possibly have become the “Start up Nation” even while in a constant state of war since the inception of the State? Life can always be better.

People have asked me how I can believe that Israel is the beginning of Redemption when it cannot possibly be considered a blessing to live under such constant threat? For me, the idea of Redemption, by which we have lived for more than two thosand years in the diaspora, is that life can always be better.

For me, the idea of Counting the Omer from Pesach to Shavuot is that life can always be better. We count forty-nine steps that we can climb to ascend to the heights of Sinai with the conviction that there is always something better at the top.

For me, when God asks only for fresh Showbread once each week even while sending fresh Manna every morning, He wants us to wait for tomorrow’s bread hoping that it will be even better than today’s.

For me, each of the appointed festivals that occur each year comes with the promise that this year’s festival will be better than any of the past.

For me, the Shabbat, which introduces this section of the festivals, is a promise that next week will be better than this.

For me, the sin of striking another human being includes a refusal to look at the person and believe that he can become a better human being. We cannot afford to look at any part of life or any human being without that thought that life can be better being woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains.

For us, the “Train” is never in the distance, but always just up ahead.

Author Info:
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