Invisible roof

I feel tremendous hope in the air. Hold on tight for this year of Amazement. Opinion

Gila Jedwab DMD ,

Sukkah
Sukkah
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My brother-in law texted me right after havdala. He couldn't wait. He found me something. It’s a beautiful thing when loved ones come bearing gifts of insight. I gather them close to my heart like diamonds.

By now, most of us are waking up to the bigger picture here. The fight or flight frenzy has died down and we are rubbing our eyes wondering how our basic freedoms have been snatched out from under us. Freedom to pray. Freedom to send our kids to school. Freedom to breathe. You know. Those small things.

How we got here no longer matters. What matters is that we are in the middle of something. A challenge set forth by Hashem. God has a tendency to put us in in the middle of some pretty bizarre situations. Most likely for one goal: So none of us miss the opportunity to cling to him during our brief stint here on earth. Clinging To Him with Joy is why we came.

The occasional turbulence shakes us out of our complacency and opens a portal of loyalty for God. Loyalty means something to Him, it occupies the first two slots on the Tablets. So it should also mean something to us. We don’t always get to understand the confusing needs of our Beloved, but we scramble to deliver. That’s how love goes.

We find ourselves inside a modern-day challenge of biblical proportions. Since that holy moment Nachshon dipped his toe in the Red Sea, we again find ourselves stepping out into the barren desert holding on to nothing but sand and sky. Fire and cloud. God and Man.

Each soul treading that minimal existence was perpetually and subliminally asked 2 basic questions. The same two questions interfacing our souls today:

1) Will we trust God or will we forget Him.
2) Will we complain or will we be grateful.

When some overbearing political mandate comes to push me out of peace, these two Wise Old Questions retrieve me like a lost puppy and coax me back inside my protective vortex of Faith. My vortex is a shimmering terrain. It’s my happy place. I slip inside to recover my relationship with God. I relax and recalibrate the rhythm of my breath to match the rise and fall of God’s. I whisper to His bent ear every goodness He’s ever given me. My toenails, my eyeballs, my tastebuds. My kids. My husband. My coworkers. My patients.

I climb up my emotional spectrum, rung by rung, back up towards Trust in God. The rungs are constructed of Gratitude and offer sturdy footing. Most days I fall off this ladder every 5 minutes. Staying balanced in Trust and Gratitude is the work of life.

My brother in law’s text also came to nudge me back inside my vortex. He taught me about God’s invisible roof.

He told me to look up the Artscroll explanation below the Haftarah on the first day of Succot. Page 366. That was where he stumbled upon gold.

The Haftarah talks about the war of Gag U’Magog. This famous final war of Redemption and the holiday of Succot are internally linked for many reasons.

R’ Hirsch, a lover of etymology, found a connection through a play on words. Gog houses the word Gag, roof. The Succah must be built with a weak roof. This weak roof comes to remind us that is never our meager mortar protecting us but rather our best refuge is under God’s intangible roof.

Such is the paradoxical lesson of Succot: What doesn’t seem sturdy is the most dependable. The intangible holds a tangible serenity. This is a slippery concept for us tactile beings to grasp. A healthy imagination is required.

Succot is the annual reminder that we sleep under God’s sky, all else is illusion. The physical will crumble and fall, the spiritual stands tall.

Rav Hirsch kicks this thought up another notch. This is where I start to wonder if he had prophetic inklings for this exact moment in Corona Time. R’ Hirsch said when you place the letter M in from of something in Hebrew, it connotes the language of projecting something. Like Ohr and M’ohr. Light and flashlight.

So while Gog alludes to the enemy who doesn't trust God’s intangible protection. The enemy who misses the whole point of Succot. Magog refers to an enemy who feels compelled to project this lack of trust onto other people as well. They force others to stand under their man-made roof of “protection” with them. “They delude themselves (and others) into thinking that they can make themselves safe against that which comes from Above.”

Not only do they discredit God’s protection for themselves they project faithlessness onto the masses. The allure of standing under a fake roof not only becomes widespread, it become virtuous.

Weak and flimsy materials become more trusted than the invisible bedrock God built into creation. Man becomes arrogant and thinks he understands the mysteries of nature and miracles of healing better than God. Man assumes responsibility for life and death, sickness and health and projects that fallacy onto others.

Gog U’magog starts to eerily sound like the six o’clock newscaster admonishing you to stay home, stay safe. Or those intrusive flashing highway signs reminding you to wear your mask. The illusion of man-made safety being subliminally projected onto the masses.

Who among us can approximate the effortless expertise of God? I’d like to see one medical doctor fashion a thumb. Or a politician rain hail from the sky. How have we sat silently while God‘s sovereignty has been sidelined? Thankfully, we have a forgiving and gracious God. Every day is a fresh chance to step out of fear and back into faith. When you show out for God. He shows out Big for you.

Classic Jewish arguments have also become bent and deformed to fit neatly under this synthetic roof.

Maybe Chilllul Hashem is not what we have been taught. Maybe it is when we become more concerned with the opinion of corrupt policy makers than with the opinion of God Himself. Maybe it is more important to teach our children to care more about what God thinks about their choices than power-hungry government officials.

Even a 17-year-old store cashier can take the brazen liberty to ask you to cover your nose. To dampen your connection to Source and Vitality. No one has the right to ask you to stifle that.

What we have here is an entire world is trying to stuff everyone under the same plastic roof they are being made to stand under. Be nice they say, be kind. No thank you. I’d rather be loyal to my God. And trust Him to run His world.

The word Hishtadlus starts to trigger me when it totally obliterates any acknowledgement of God’s involvement. When the scoreboard starts to read Man-100:God-Zero, we all lose.

Maybe V'nishmartem me'od l'Nafshoseichem is warning us to guard against those who come to steal our vitality and zest for life. Or our sanity. Or our connection to other people. There is nothing social about being distant. Souls wither and die inside depression and loneliness.

I meet people and I can sense something within two seconds. If they have an alive relationship with God or not. It is a certain twinkle in their eye. An ease with life. Israelis call it Simchat Ha’Chaim. You can be a Chassidishe Rebbetzin or a redneck biker. I know by the energy you are emitting if you are vibing inside Faith or Fear. If you intuitively understand that this has never been about a virus. It has been about fear, control, and the staged removal of God from civilization.

I have had a fellow Jew curse me out and a biker fist bump me all in the same day. Any liberated soul unafraid to stand up boldly for God and Country is my brother nowadays. I can only pray for the rest. I have come to realize that only God Himself can awaken people. Ha’Meorer Yishanim, Ha’maykitz Nirdamim. (Nishmat)

So, how can each of us continue to bring more light to this world?

Declare "In God We Trust" everywhere you go. Declare your loyalty to God publicly and privately. Bring Him up in conversation any chance you have. It is our vocal display of Faith that will move heaven. The biggest Kiddush Hashem we can do is not cower to flesh and blood. Only One authority deserves our reverence.

At this point, anyone still clinging to, or projecting onto others a false roof of “protection” is in for a crushing disappointment. That roof always caves in. God has been waiting patiently for us to look up and notice His invisible roof gliding gently overhead. He has always been there protecting us and always will be.

I feel tremendous hope in the air. Hold on tight for this year of Amazement. V’od Mi’at V’ein Rasha (Psalms 37:10). Evil is on it’s way out.

We can also check off that strange Gemara in Sotah (49:2) from our list. The one that says the face of generation before Mashiach will be like the face of a dog. We have see the recent pictures of stray foxes wandering near Har Habayis. Now we are witnessing this other bizarre prediction materialize and it makes me feel better about life. It’s all just bringing us one step closer to Mashiach.

I see so many people waking up. All of us climbing up the same emotional ladder towards God. We will soon grab the flag. Flip the switch of Gratitude, Trust, and Loyalty and convert chaos into tangible peace. Slip in that last quarter that pushes all the other quarters over the edge and wins the jackpot.

That day when we will widen our eyes at each other in disbelief. When Peace will sit beside us in the Succah and all we can hear is the clinking of champagne glasses for miles. May it be a quick and easy redemption. May we continue to watch it unfold before our eyes.

Gila is a wife, mother, and dentist living in Cedarhurst NY



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