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Parashat Eikev 5767/2007: “Where Truth Awaits
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor

in loving memory of Israel “Swede” and Evelyn Goldstein z"l

________________

It is precisely in the nexus between birth and death that Truth emerges. In what other possible way could the very Source of Life become apparent?

What defense can we manage when mortality fills our imaginations? How can dreams be limited when the first cries of a child fill the air?

We are commanded in this week’s Torah portion to ‘cast the images of their [idols] into the fire. (Deut. 7:25)’ Might we not read this instruction as a teaching that anything that seeks to encapsulate Infinity is a lie, and cannot remain as it is?

A baby is only newborn for a finite amount of time. Growth is the ongoing process. Nurturing and witnessing growth is an enduring and changing path.

Death is an event. The journey of the soul beyond this world continues. Surviving is an unending passage.

Infinity is palpable in the immediate experiences of birth and death. We cannot be both in the experience of God and alive. This is the same, I believe, as saying that no Thing can be Infinite.

But while we cannot truly swim within Infinity, these intense, exquisite, painful, ephemeral moments do allow us to touch God.

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Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

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