middot truth daily living get real

get real

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

art-obscurity2Emet, truth, is composed of three letters: the first, the last, and the middle letters of the Hebrew alephbet.  Like a stool, it has a firm foundation.

Can you believe that this is a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie?  I didn't think that originally when I saw the image on a news website.  Sprays of the great lake doused the lighthouse and froze, masking the lighthouse and impairing it.  Sometimes, we are just like that lighthouse.  We let the shmutz of the world cover us, mask our good senses, and impair our ability to shine light.  We lose the opportunity to show the world the way, for we are coated with an impermeable skin that inhibits our effectiveness. Hmm.  What to do?

melt away the layers

Sometimes the layers that cover and limit us have everything to do with how we live our daily lives.  

The Sages say "the seal of God is truth," since the final letters of the three words that conclude the account of creation -- bara Elohim la'asot ("God created to do" [Genesis 2:3])--spell emet: בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת

So as Hashem's seal of truth is over the world, so are His promises and the revelation of His presence.  Why does it seem so difficult to tap into that and inspire our walk?  Why are we filled with doubt at times, our relationships collapse, we lose hope, and sometimes completely lose our way?  Perhaps it is that we, like the lighthouse, get frozen over with the coldness of the world and don't fight to keep the light in our lives bright; rather, we let useless sentiments and darkness take over. A lighthouse is on the shore for one purpose: to guide those on the seas towards safety and land.  Whether the seas are calm or rough, the lighthouse continues to function daily. This is how truth operates — continuously and brilliantly.  As long as it stands, it is a beacon of hope for all who sail on the seas of life. As truth relates to our lives, it is not enough just to have truth:  we must shine forth this truth in our lives.  When are we going to get real and show it not only exists but means something in our lives?

lost object

In our tradition, there is a prayer that one can say for a lost object.  This past week, a dear friend of mine lost one of her earrings that one of her sons had given to her as a gift.  They were precious, indeed, and because of this she was very distressed.  As I know she prayed for the object to be found, she also implored me to look for it in the event it might be in an obvious place.  We had no luck, however, and the earring became another one of the "lost items of the world".

Today, as her another one of her sons was doing some work for me around the yard, a ring on the doorbell came about a half hour after he began working.  "Did you lose an earring," he said, as he held out his gloved hand with his mother's earring!  "I found it in a pile of leaves on the driveway," he casually related.  You can imagine the shock and amazement I felt as I thanked him and dashed to call his mother.  As I described it to her, she confirmed it was indeed the earring.  It could have easily been scooped up with the leaves, thrown into the leaf bin and never seen again.  What's even more of a wonder is that the earring was fifteen miles from the original destination where it was lost. I know that if anyone were to calculate the odds of this earring being found, it would be next to none.  But, then again, a prayer did go out for this object.  As long as Hashem is true, as long as we truly believe that all of creation has a purpose and that for every action there is some divine backdrop, then things don't seem as unlikely. 

Let's look for the lost.  Let's seek out what seems improbable.  And when we do, let's do it with truth.  Get your lighthouse going and shine. This is an act of holiness, this is a refinement of the middah of truth. 

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