By way of preface:
The "Jewish Spirituality" mailing list is an outgrowth of several conversations in which people told me that they felt "alone" in their quest to develop their relationship with Gd. I knew they weren't alone, just from my own interactions with other people, and so I extended an invitation to the Jewish community of Rhode Island to join in a weekly mailing list exploring issues within their relationship with HaShem.
Many of the messages posted on the list reflect people's personal struggles and sensitivities. As a result, some of the people who post remarks on this list opt to do so anonymously; they send me the e-mail, and I drop their names. The list is "blind cc'd," as well, so that no one knows who else is on the list. Our goal is that the members of this list should draw strength and inspiration from the words of their peers, and thereby continue to develop as Jews.
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Jewish Spirituality - Volume 22
Re: Gd and Fatherhood
Awe of Gd
Subject: Re: Gd and Fatherhood
By: Scott Spiegler
>> c. When I am not?
>ANSWER: Also a prayer of thanks that imbues your mind with
>the thought that Ha-Shem does everything with a grand design in mind;
>it is a good lesson of life that we do not receive everything we want or
Dear Grandma Anne,
Thank you for your sweet reply to my post. Above all, I felt the loving
tone of a Jewish grandmother speaking to me. It warmed my heart. I
imagine your grandchildren are quite lucky to have you as their grandma.
I hope they get to enjoy you for many years to come...
I wanted to pursue this part of your response with you. I am familiar
with this concept of the Grand Design and generally find it makes sense.
But, what about a situation where the person truly needs the very thing
that is being withheld. I tend to get stuck on this approach, when- for
instance- a woman who desperately wants to have children is not able. I
can't imagine the deep pain that this person experiences from this
deprivation. My heart goes out with the deepest compassion to all women
or couples (because, of course, it is certainly not always the woman who
is unfertile) who suffer from this situation.
I am not sure how to respond to this scenario and say that it is somehow
ok, because it is part of a bigger plan. It doesn't feel ok. I hope G-d
doesn't think it is ok, but maybe this is just my need for G-d to not
think it is ok. I am genuinely confused on this issue. I'd really like
to hear your thoughts on this.
Kindly and Respectfully, Scott
Subject: Awe of Gd
By: Mordechai Torczyner
Last week, I asked what people thought is the purpose of Awe of Gd.
Not having received any responses here, these are my thoughts:
We are obligated to develop a feeling of love for Gd. Gd is our parent, and we are children who ought to reciprocate the love our parent displays by bringing us into this world and giving us continued life.
There is a danger to love, though; a person who is in a love relationship becomes close, at least in his perception, to the person he loves. This may lead to an over-familiarity, and to a loss of perspective. A person enduring hard times might well turn to his Parent and say, "What are You doing this to me for?"
This is the purpose of Awe - to remind us that for all we are close to Gd, we are still not remotely in His league. Awe affords us a sense of perspective.
By: Mordechai Torczyner
Caren, Amram and I expect to be away for next Shabbos, and so there will be no Jewish Spirituality Email next week.
Have a good Shabbos,
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