Miracle in the Desert
We eat, sleep, and sit in tents. We are helpless to the elements, slaves to the whims of nature. We are babies in our Father's arms, completely dependent on His mercy…
Unemployed and still looking for new clients, Succoth was turning out to be a tough holiday to feel joy. Instead of a week of uninterrupted happiness, it mutated into precious time that I could be looking for work and new business. I was frustrated that I didn't feel like I was doing all I could to provide for my family.
I forgot Who is truly taking care of us.
We planned a special trip to the desert. Three days camping inside a large crater in the heart of the Negev. The kids were excited, my wife was happy, and I was struggling.
She pulled me aside, "Dov, let it go. Forget the world and focus on the holiday. Everything will be all right."
As hard as I tried, all I could do was go through the motions.
Then we arrived in the oasis of the earth.
Inside the desert, time stops. There was no phone network so the only clock you were on was that of the natural surroundings. As night descended, a thick darkness engulfed us. We felt a deafening quiet that tranquilized our spirit. The only lights that illuminated the campsite were unnoticeable merely 100 yards out.
So we hiked into the abyss. It was beautiful. Being the 16th of Tishrei, the moon was in its full glory. It reflected the sun's light upon the sand and lit up everything. We could see each other. We could see the path. We could see very clear shadows of ourselves in the huge rocks right next to us.
Then we looked up.
There is no planetarium on earth that can compete with what we saw right above us. Every star in the galaxy is visible to the eye as clear as day. Millions of stars populated the sky. It reminded us of how small we are in a universe as massive as it is.
That's when G-d gave me a miracle.
How great is Hashem? He directs every movement of each star in the sky. When I see the North star, the light I see began its journey to Israel when Queen Elizabeth the first ruled England. There are stars in the sky that started their journey during the reign of King David.
Throughout all of the colossal ability Hashem displays in guiding the large bodies in the universe, He invests just as much energy in deciding which gust of wind will cool off a butterfly. Every detail is guided by Hashem with utmost precision.
Hashem loves all of us. He loves every Jew. He loves my wife. He loves my children. He loves me. My anger at life is based on the fact that I love my family more than anything else, and every moment during which I am not providing them with everything they need feels worse than the hottest flames of Gehennom.
That's how G-d feels about us, who are His children.
Will G-d let his children starve? Will He let them suffer?
Whatever I am going through comes right from our loving Father Who is engineering all of this for our own good. Just like the stars in the sky so numerous we cannot count them, Hashem is directing the movements of everything in this universe towards a good greater than any of us can possibly imagine.
This is the story of Succoth.
We eat, sleep, and sit in tents. We are helpless to the elements, slaves to the whims of nature. We are babies in our Father's arms, completely dependent on His mercy in allowing us to brave these elements and be able to wake up the next morning and replenish our bodies.
In feeling so helpless, we feel His Mercy. In being so protected, we understand His love.
Following this insight, my material uncertainties seemed insignificant. I took a deep breath and enjoyed the rest of the trip.
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Dovber Halevi has enjoyed success in Israel over the last 20 years as a student, tourist, citizen, soldier, hi-tech manager, husband, father. He developed www.succeedinisrael.com so you can do the same!