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From where does my help come?

04/14/2020 09:19:25 AM

Apr14

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

During challenging times, people of faith will turn to their religion to provide them with strength and hope.  Many have seen or heard me quote Psalm 121: I turn my eyes to the heavens; from where shall my help come?  My help comes from God, Maker of heaven and earth. I began including that Psalm every morning after 10.27, and continue during this time of self-quarantine.  I find that it provides me with comfort and encouragement.  Perhaps it may do so as well for you.  Here is a link if you wish to read it: https://www.sefaria.org/Psalms.121?lang=bi

Religion continues to play a significant part during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it is the new ways that houses of worship utilize technology to continue the bonds of community or a vast range of writings and pronouncements by faith leaders, one point remains clear: we turn to God in these trying times.

There are those who believe that God’s hand is in the pandemic, and while I respect their right to their opinion and the strength of their beliefs, those who espouse this point of view must equally respect people of faith who disagree.  I am one of them. I do not believe that God unleashed COVID-19 upon us.  I do not believe that God sits in some sort of Divine control room pushing buttons to determine what happens on our planet each day.  We read in Genesis 1:28: “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it.” We have the ability to manage this pandemic as well as devise solutions, if only we would use our abilities wisely.  Many are toiling non-stop, and I remain hopeful that their combined efforts will lead to a positive outcome.

God is the one we turn to at great times of challenge to provide us with the courage to face these challenges and as a wellspring of hope.  Just as I found God to be my source of strength after 10.27, once again I find God as my source of hope during this pandemic.  But make no mistake: this is a partnership.  The earth belongs to God; we are merely tenants.  Our responsibility is to partner with God to reach our highest potential, and that goes for these past weeks. Many continue to use their skills and talents to respond to this pandemic.  Each of us has something unique and special to offer, and I hope that each of us is divinely inspired to share those talents. 

God is in the pandemic, but not in the ways you think.  The ways in which our medical professionals continue to respond demonstrates their godliness.  The ongoing kindness and goodness that I read and hear about demonstrates godliness.  That is where we find God.  We are all born with a Divine spark.  How is yours blazing brightly during this pandemic? If not yet, it is not too late. Think of what you might be able to do that shares your spark, so that the more of us who share their sparks creates a brilliance that reflects the glory of God, known in Hebrew as a Kiddush HaShem. May we all be privileged to witness your spark.  

Sun, May 24 2020 1 Sivan 5780