Maintaining Faith in a World of Multiple Possibilities

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Rabbi Ben Herman of Bet Shira Congregation

We live in a world with multiple possibilities. As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another one opens.” At times in life we feel that we are out of options or wishing we were back at a previous moment in time. However, each moment presents infinite possibilities and opportunities to make our lives better.

In reading through the weekly Torah portions, I think about the Israelites lack of faith. In next week’s reading we learn about the golden calf, created because “that man Moses, who brought us from the land of Egypt-we do not know what has happened to him.” How in a span of 40 days did a people who had seen marvels such as the splitting of the sea lose their faith? How did the same people send forth a delegation to return to Egypt even after Caleb said “Let us by all means go forward and we shall conquer the land?” How easy it is to lose trust in one’s leaders as well as faith in a better future.

How relatable is Israel, travelling in the desert where food and water was scarce, becoming nostalgic about a past of Egyptian slavery where at least they had three meals a day and roofs over their heads. The slightest mishap leads to doubts and second-guessing, the “what ifs.” What is missing is faith in a better future and recognizing that we live in a world with multiple possible outcomes, that what is often most important is not the outcome but the process one takes to get there.

Think about a time in your life when you thought you were at the end of your rope, that there was no going on-only to laugh about it a month or two later when your situation changed. While sometimes inexplicable tragedies occur, more often than not things are not irreparable. The line that we say before we read from the Torah is “Those who cling to G-d are all alive today.” What do you hold onto that gives you the courage and faith to continue forward?

In our world of multiple possibilities, what gives me strength is knowing that I will do my part and let G-d take care of the rest. Sometimes I will give things right, other times I will make mistakes but either way I will be complete and whole. No matter what happens to us, especially if it is something beyond our control, we are complete and whole. At the end of the day there’s no could have, would have or should have-there’s only this moment in time and what we can do to make the most of it. When things look bleak, let us maintain our faith in ourselves and in the path on which we walk in this world and may we remember that no matter what the outcome, we will be fine and will find a way to thrive.


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