I was visiting someone in our community who has been battling a life-threatening illness for about 6 months now. She’s gotten some very good news about her progress, but still has a very far way to go. This time of year, when we’re concentrating on how our lives have been and what are our chances for the new year must be very stressful for her. Back when ISHI had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s around this same time of year but was waiting to inform the community, it was more difficult than every to face into the prayers, especially Unetaneh Tokef.
After all, who shall live?
Who shall die?
And who לֹא בְּקִצּוֹ?
I didn’t translate those on purpose. They’re the hardest concepts to comprehend. I’ll try.
Who at his predestined time?
And who before his time?
Obviously, if you die and G-d is in charge, then He knows when you are going to die. So we can’t read it from G-d’s perspective.
It means that we have certain expectations of things that we will experience and we “deserve”.
We deserve happiness.
We deserve a loving family.
We deserve loyal friends.
We deserve comfort and care.
We deserve attention.
What else falls under our false expectations?
We deserve life.
No, we deserve nothing.
So, wiping all of that out, we have to recalibrate.
We must be grateful for each thing/day/person in our lives.
Especially the people.
Because nothing and no one can be taken for granted in this world.
And we have to seek to make ourselves worthy of the gifts that we do receive.
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