It’s so important to develop mastery over the whole life sequence: think nice thoughts, speak kind words, do good deeds, and develop positive habits. This is one of the secrets to life itself.
Life is often in the hands of our tongue–one stupid word and it can mean your head, and one smart thing and it can be, with G-d’s help, your ride to the stars!
Indeed, controlling your words, like controlling your desires, temper, and so on is a constant challenge we all face throughout life. Yes, it’s easy to just let oneself go, but the consequences can be severe for shooting off your mouth, acting stupid, or getting angry. We can get better with patience, time, and practice. We can become better, stronger people. We can learn to guard not only our tongue, but our temperament and deeds, and live a better, and perhaps even a longer life for it. 😉
Sukkot is the Jewish Festival of Shelter and of Ingathering.
In these challenging times of coronavirus and before this eventful election, more than usual, we need G-d’s blessings to shelter and protect us, and to bless both the United States of America and the State of Israel that they should be safe for all of us and that the “ingathering” be not only of the harvest, but of all the exiles from the four corners of the earth to G-d’s Promised Land for the final redemption.
For two thousand years, the Jewish people exiled from their land, widely dispersed, and inhumanly persecuted among the nations developed passivity and learned helplessness. They eagerly awaited, year after year, G-d’s salvation and redemption. As a tiny minority attempting to hold firm to their religious beliefs amongst the world’s powerful majorities, the Jews found themselves a convenient scapegoat, suffering landlessness and joblessness, taxation to the point of near-starvation, conscription of their Jewish children for military service of 25-years, forced conversion on pain of torture and death, horrible violent pogroms that sparred no one, and expulsions from country after country. During these times, the Jewish people learned passivity in the hope of not inflaming the hate and anger of the goyim that would make things “even worse!”
Certainly, there is no mitzvah to being passive and helpless, and this was undoubtedly in large measure a result of being homeless and suffering under the weight of relentless and brutal anti-Semitism for 2,000 years. Yet, as we each roll up our sleeves to actively work and fight for the modern State of Israel, our independence, and our right to practice our religion freely, we must do so with full knowledge and thanksgiving to G-d, our creator and sustainer! Whether King David against the giant Goliath, Samson against the mighty Philistines, or our modern-day strong and brave soldiers in the IDF defending the borders of Israel from historical enemies’ roundabout, they stand strong against all the natural odds, because G-d stands right there with them and us.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, we know that everything is in the hands of G-d, including life and death, but there is no question that President Trump has been an instrument of the Almighty in delivering genuine and consistent support—recognition, annexation, aid, sanctioning our enemies, fighting BDS, anti-Semitism, and biased resolutions, and the advancement of peace—to Israel and for the Jewish people.
What the New Year and the upcoming election brings, no one knows, but Hashem. However, let us recognize the good and thank President Trump for everything that he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, and let us pray that G-d brings us continued blessings for the upcoming Jewish year of 5781 and beyond towards our final redemption.