middot adaptability author blog immovable mercy

immovable mercy

Written by  rabbi russ resnik

Adaptability is rooted in security.

Those who are insecure become rigid, dogmatic, inflexible. But if I know I won't break, I can bend. I can return to Hashem, do teshuvah, the deepest adaptability, because I know he is merciful and won't smash me when I come back after all my wanderings.

Throughout Scripture, he reassures us of that truth, as in our haftarah for this week, fifth in the series of haftarot of consolation after Tisha B'Av, leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Days of Awe. We, the people of Israel, have wandered off from Hashem, and felt his anger, climaxing on the original Tisha B'Av, when the Babylonians destroyed the first temple. But Hashem has called us back, "like a wife forlorn and forsaken" (Is. 54:6):

"For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But my hesed shall not depart from you,
Nor shall my covenant of shalom be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Is. 54:10

Teshuvah requires the deepest adaptability, but it won't destroy us. The unchangeable hesed of God empowers us to do whatever we must to return to him. Let God's immovable mercy draw us into this season of teshuvah as we prepare for the Days of Awe.

this week


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