From the Rabbi’s Desk
I'm approached over and over by people who believe they have not done the right thing. They believe they haven't done enough, or believe they have chosen the wrong avenue, or believe they started something and left it at the wrong time, or took a completely wrong turn.
It is the human condition.
From the time we’re born there are people bigger, smarter, richer, more gifted. Rather than learn who we are and who we might be, we begin to measure ourselves against others who arrived before us. The neglected irony is that those we look up to have their own set of “others” against whom they measure themselves. I like to get perspective from our Jewish wisdom - a trove developed over thirty-five hundred years. Our communal diary, the Torah, opens with a Universal Force creating a world in categories - and declaring each day’s creation to be satisfactory and in order. As the Midrash tells us, by the tenth hour of the sixth day (mankind’s first day on Earth) rules are broken and banishment from the perfect Garden ensues. If G-d were showing up for counseling, so to speak, He might tell His coach that His first set of creations did not work out, and that He is not enough.
But the Torah does not proceed that way, and neither should our lives. A project which needs adjusting simply points the way to a newer, better project or a different way to proceed. Adam and Eve adjust to their new world, have
children and beget an entire civilization. Their children don't get along but the remaining child goes off and lives in and builds up a town. Unrealised by most people, many years later Adam and Eve have a third child, Seth, a begetting which is a vote for new hope and trying again. And so it goes. Our G-d models a perfection which includes mistakes, includes tweaks, includes re-directing, new plans and new approaches. And most important,
includes continuing and evolving, accepting the good in what is, and creating the next chapter.
And so may we all.
Rabbi Mark Biller