Making Security a Priority
|Posted on March 6, 2023 at 4:00 PM|
Fear is part of the DNA of being Jewish. I've learned to protect myself by making security a priority. I'm grateful to be going to Israel when they've got the iron dome and the walls keeping out most of the terrorism they experienced during the 90's. I lately read a book about the history of modern-day Israel since the late 1800's and it was really interesting. I also took a JLI course on the '67 war. They both scared me and settled my mind.
I loved the following quote by Tzvi Freeman about Jewish DNA fear and the holiday of Purim.
By Tzvi Freeman
On Purim, it’s a mitzvah to hear the story of Esther read from a scroll—called a “megillah”—both by day and by night.
The Talmud tells us, “If you read the story backwards, you haven’t read the story.” (Megillah 2a.)
Of course, that means you have to read the story in the order it’s written.
But the Baal Shem Tov gave a deeper meaning to the words of our sages:
If you read the story of Esther and of her people, of the rise of Haman and his own self-destruction, of secret heroes and hidden miracles…
…if you read all this as though it was all a backstory —something that occurred a long time ago and now provides only historical context —you haven’t read the story.
Because Jews have never had the luxury to retell this story as something we have put behind us. (my bolding)
Haman persists to reappear in his many incarnations, as a dictator, as an ideology, as the antipathy that surrounds us, or, most pernicious of all, as the cold apathy that chills our heart from within.
Both as a nation, as well as individuals, we rely every day on hidden miracles, often through the agency of secret Esthers and Mordechais, and always by divine intervention, simply to remain the nation we were chosen to be.
A Jew looks around and discovers: We are standing in the middle of the story of Purim right now.
—Keter Shem Tov, Hosafot, 100. Likutei Sichot vol. 6, p. 189, 385. Ibid vol. 7, p. 332. Purim, 5736, 5742.
By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. Subscribe and get your dose daily. To order Rabbi Freeman’s latest book, Wisdom to Heal the Earth, click here.
It's a delicate balance to allow in love and bring down the walls between people - in our every day lives. How do you stay hopeful, but still safe and protected? Can you take risks? What exactly is risky? These are the questions I had to ask myself once my husband was gone. I had put these things into the idea of having a husband - that I was protected, safe. And he was a commanding figure, someone who took up space in a room. That must have comforted me since I liked to hide.
How does a person open up to love again and to trust a person? All I can say about this is, do I trust myself? I ask myself,
- "what am I seeing?"
- "Is it a fantasy?"
- "Is it real?"
- "And what are the actions I see? The language used, the communication? The behaviors?"
- "what's happening in the present moment and what has happened in the past?"
- "What are the questions I need to ask to feel more confident in not getting hurt?"
Being a single woman has made me feel very vulnerable. Having had my husband die has made me feel very fragile. Thankfully, I have found my strength again and I do want to open myself to love again.
Jews are celebrating Purim in a couple of days at the full moon. It's a holiday that in 2023 begins Monday night, March 6 and continues through Tuesday, March 7 (and extending through Wednesday in Jerusalem). It's a holiday where we read the book of Esther, known as the Megillah. Read more about it here. It's another commemoration of a time when they wanted to kill us but we won, so let's eat - or rather, let's drink!!! (Take my online class to learn more: The Tree and The Queen )
I love the idea that we are told to drink until we can't tell the difference between Mordechai (the hero) and Haman (the villain). I have always pondered that and wonder how it is supposed to help us get beyond duality.
Still, Pikuakh Nefesh - is supposed to inform all security decisions.
"Pikuach nefesh (Hebrew: פקוח נפש, lit.'watching over a soul') is the principle in Halakha (Jewish law) that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule of Judaism. In the event that a person is in critical danger, most mitzvot, including those from the Ten Commandments of the Torah, become inapplicable if they would hinder the ability to save oneself or someone else in such a situation. However, there are certain exceptions; some rules and commandments may not be broken under any circumstances and thus sanction an act of self-sacrifice." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pikuach_nefesh
Being able to tell the difference between the villains and the heroes is the only way to maintain the Security of the Lives of people.
It's something to ponder in our every day interactions with the people in our lives who allow us to simply live our lives - or don't. And to ponder where I am not allowing myself to live my life and just blaming others for my unhappiness - because truly, the life I live is ultimately up to me, no matter who I have in my life - even if a neighbor may want me dead. Right? Of course, right! My life is up to me. Will l take some risks or will I stay safe, avoiding every risk that may be out there? Next week at this time, I will be in Israel!!
Take good care and Have ah freilichen Purim,