A different type of fracking

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A different type of fracking

By Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

Recently a new issue has been making the news here in England. Fracking seems to be all the rage, and both pro and con activists are loudly voicing their opinions. I did some research on the subject and for the uninitiated Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

Proponents tell us that through this new process we can all have cheap energy that will be never ending. Those against it scream that all the pressure and chemicals will bring new environmental dangers for the future. I personally have no opinion on the matter. After all, I am no expert in any of the fields the practice involves. However, I do have some expertise in another sort of fracking, the sort that touches all of us and comes with even greater dangers. I am speaking of the fracking of the soul!

If despite all that is working against us we shed light with our mitzvos and chessed, we add our brick to the final salvation”

We are living in ever more complicated times, filled with untold pressures and turbulence. The stresses that are drilled into our lives can cause noxious side effects, some of which can lead to explosions within our neshomas. Current world culture is driven by a darkness that emits toxins into the very air we all breathe. We may try to filter out as much as possible, but the allergens are still irritating our core. Anyone with a caring soul will note how many of our brethren are edgy and uncomfortable. The pressures of just making a living squeeze your heart till sheer desperation tears through your very fibre. Distractions mount up daily, our soul cries out for respite, but the pressures seem to mount. This spiritual fracking seeks to crush our very essence.

In this weary state we come to Tisha B’Av and try to focus on what we can do in the face of our own pain to somehow connect to the devastation that was the destruction of our Beis Hamikdosh.

The Sfas Emes in Devarim expounds on a well-known Chazal that tells us:

“ Any generation in which the Beis Hamikdosh is not rebuilt is at the same (low) spiritual level as the generation which merited the Churban!”

This is a difficult statement, and the Rebbe points out that there were many generations after the Churban in which great and pious Yidden lived. He then asks: how can we say that they merited the Churban in their days?

This leads him to ask to yet another question: do we really expect that a generation will come along that will be so virtuous that on its own will merit the final redemption that no earlier generation deserved?

The Rebbe answers that the Redemption will not come from the achievement of one single generation. Rather, our redemption will come as the result of a progressive process, in which the merits of each generation are added to those that came before. This procedure will continue until the world reaches a “critical mass” of kedusha that will trigger the Final Redemption.

Therefore, each generation that adds to the sum total of spirituality in the world brings illumination where darkness reigned and thus is participating in the true building of the Beis Hamikdosh.

This powerful message can bring each of us strength. Hashem knows exactly what we are going through; nothing is by chance; everything is His Will. Hashem knows of the fracking that is going on in our souls, the pressures, and sometimes insurmountable stresses of everyday life. Yet, He lets us know that we too are builders of the future Beis Hamikdosh. If despite all that is working against us we shed light with our mitzvos and chessed, we add our brick to the final salvation.

We are builders, and any minute now we can add that missing something that will answer all the questions we all carry.

May we be zoche to that moment soon and till then may we each remain focused on the positive hope that is there waiting for us.