The Ballet In The Soul

Printable version

The Ballet In The Soul

Rabbi Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita

I watch as the early morning ballet of clouds glides across the vast sky. At first all seems dark, scary intimidating shapes evolve as others disappear. Then a sharp glimmer of light appears, seemingly from behind, yet splitting thru the centre creating a breath-taking kaleidoscope of contrasts. Soon the clouds seem to shrink, chased away by the brilliance of the light, scurrying away till another dawn arrives.

Readers might be scratching their heads, “What’s with this Rubin and his trees and clouds? He seems to be suffering some sort of displaced country boy syndrome that has captured his heart by nature?” In response, let me just say that it is the holiday season, and one great benefit is having time to share with our surroundings some of Hashem’s wonders. This particular pageant has me in its grasp and gets me outdoors in the pre-dawn hours despite our being far from home. Simply put, for me, the clouds speak to our generation uniquely and I would like to share some of my thoughts with you.

Each of us are plagued by problems, self-doubts, fears of the unknown and so much more. These thoughts congregate in our minds, taking on weird and often scary shapes that totally obscure the one certainty in our lives. The eternal light that is the Eibishter will shine thru and burn away the clouds that seek to envelop us in their darkness if, with bitochen, we make room. Our times are wrought with unprecedented dangers. At each turn, we have desperate challenges that infect the very air we breathe with a toxicity of pain. Where to turn, what to do? Stand with me Reb Yied, watch the sun burn away the clouds, watch as Kaveuchal the Eibishter shines forth and brings light.

We stand before the Hieliga Teig, this is a time for deep reflection. All the worry we carry is just like those clouds, the light of Hashem burns them away if we only try to really accept His reality.

Parshas Shoftim starts:

“Judges and officers you shall appoint for yourself (titen lecha) in all the gates that Hashem give you.”

Since the establishment of legal courts is the responsibility of the whole community, this posuk should have been worded in the plural, titnu lachem. From the singular wording, titen lecha, it seems that the command is also directed towards each individual Yied in some way.

Perhaps we are being directed to judge ourselves truthfully, at each gateway and porthole of our personal existence. Each one of us has different challenges, created by our uniqueness of soul. These are the openings, the ‘gateways’ that the passage highlights.  The clouds that wend themselves into our minds should be seen as mere vapour, and we must embrace the Pintele Yied that abides within us for its purity and clarity.

The Vorke Rebbe Rav Yitzchok Zt”l comments on the verse: “And you shall not erect for yourselves a pillar…..”(Devarim 16:22)  That a Yied must never stand still at one level of his service to Hashem. (The word Metzavah has the connotation of standing in one place). Just the opposite, says the Tzadik, a Yied must constantly move forwards, never standing in one place spiritually.

Those dark shaped clouds of worry and fear, can scare us into feeling helpless, frozen in the headlights of life. We get stuck, pillars of stone, unable to grow.

Rebbe Moshe Breyer from Koznitz Ztl used to explain that when the Torah tells us “You shall be wholehearted with Hashem, your King”   It is demanding that we always be spiritually healthy and whole. After all, it is Your King that you are serving, and nothing else will do. Despite our frailties and the worries that wear us down, we can find the wholeness within ourselves, and move forwards. With this, we can hope that Hashem will shower us with all that is good from the Heavens.

Sweet Yidden, the Yomim Tovim harkens to our very core, blow away the clouds that plague you, and allow yourself to be open to the eternal illumination that is in Hashem’s love.