Opportunity Prevails


Lev Emes: Heart of Truth (special edition)

“Let us reason together.” – Isaiah 1 :18

Monday May 18, 2020

As the pandemic garners attention, storing up its legacy across the ensuing months, the future must contain a seedling of hope, growing in the distant future. Yet, perhaps, the horizon is closer to our framework of expectation than we might think; therefore, we should allow ourselves some respite, stop holding onto anxieties and fears, and look forward to a time when we can admit to ourselves that this cocoon that enwraps us for the sake of reflection and rebirth, will soon give way to a butterfly, gently learning how to fly for the first time.

The darkness will lift, when we turn our hearts towards G-d. This is irrespective of the challenges that we face every day; in other words, He will be there within the midst of our nisyanos (trials). Although we may be limited in regard to past activities, restricted by necessary precautions, and isolated to some degree, the time is opportune for in depth reflection upon our lives. In this manner, we can move past our internal limitations, through self examination, and progressive awareness of our character flaws. We may surpass our former selves, by making a change for the better.

Lev Emes

daily contemplation: Feeding the Soul


February 24, 2020

Closer to the truth than yesterday. A little more knowledgeable than the day before. Yet, what is acquired may lose significance over time unless maintained. Life lessons should lead to character improvement. For the soul is not nurtured by information in and of itself; rather, we are shaped by our life experience, as well as our response to life.

In the evening of my life, it will not be about the acquisition of knowledge as facts, information, or trivia. Most of what is absorbed on the internet on a daily basis, whether in the political, entertainment, news realm, passes by like the pixels that are constantly rearranging on the screen. Yet, there is a source of everlasting knowledge:

“Teach me good discernment and knowledge; for I have believed in Thy commandments.” – Psalm 119:66

“The fear of the L-RD is the beginning of knowledge”

– Proverbs 1:7, JPS 1917 Tanach

A reappraisal of the above mentioned verse yields greater understanding, when considering the Hebrew word, yiras, translated above as “fear.” Perhaps, a more helpful rendering would include the words, awe, reverance, and respect.

It is yiras H’Shem (fear of the L-RD) that may bring the soul into alignment with G-d’s wisdom, and His ratzon (will) for each individual. For, our lives belong to Him. “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to detach ourselves from the myriad of pixels that form our opinions, influence our speech (parroting), and (dis)color our world, if we seek a true expression of the soul, in all its potential, unbound by the influx of ideas that permeate the Internet and our minds.