As much as I would have liked to day to be "super" and filled with a bliss of the mundane like the 50s family-orientated television programming, it wasn't. As much as I wanted my morning workout--one hour of cardio--to be exhilarating, it was in reality a struggle. As much as I wanted to breeze into work and pick up where I left off, I instead was bogged down with over 500 emails to sort through. And as much as I wanted to have a calm evening with my family, it was loud, messy, hectic.
As the family settles, each of us in our own space (if, by "own space" I include my two year old kicking me in the arm while I try to type this), I lay here and wonder if this is how it is for everyone. And I wonder where that inner hippie laid back cat has gone. When did my days turn to moving through life, one stress at a time? It sure didn't take long for the serene vacation to be kicked to the corner!
As I move into tomorrow...and the day after...and the day after that...as we move toward Shavuot...from liberation to redemption...what is it, what one little but able-to-stick thing am I going to implement so that I can have a piece of the redemption. So that liberation is not in vain. So that I didn't journey this journey for nothing.
What is this redemption? I struggle with what exactly we mean by this. In Christianity, it has to do with the messiah saving them from the punishment of sin. It is very individual and has to do with one's soul, or the state of one's soul. In Judaism, that is not what we mean.
G-d redeems us not from sin but from exile. Encyclopaedia Judaica defines redemption as "salvation from the states or circumstances that destroy the value of human existence or human existence itself." Redemption is about, to a certain degree, tikkun olam "repairing the world." Some people interpret this as doing actions to better the world and/or create a model world; others believe that by perfecting themselves and doing mitzvot (good deeds, following the commandments), redemption and the Messiah's arrival is hastened. There are only about a hundred other examples and interpretations of this concept.
I am aware that my concept of this is colored by who I am and what I have learned thus far--and that isn't much. It is a concept I would like to learn much more about. Rabbi Neal recently held a class that discussed the preparation process for redemption. Just like wheat, it doesn't just magically turn into bread. It takes hard work, awareness and some know how to get there. Rabbi Neal's son-in-law, Michael, took us to the source for that lesson.
I am preparing...I just hope at the end of it, I am a piping hot loaf of delicious laid back and patient bread and do not resemble what my bread turns out like whenever I attempt to bake it! I have 41 more days to count...
[scroll to my favorites: Ana BeKhoach (Zalman) and then Ana BeKhoach (Carlebach)]
Click here for a niggun or two!