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the divine artist

10/13/2022 09:35:56 AM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I sat in my sukkah the first two days of Sukkot, grateful for the blessing of some of the most perfect weather I could hope for on this festival. I have learned from Yinzers[1] that Pittsburgh has two seasons, Winter and Summer, or as one person corrected me, Winter and Construction, although there are those that claim that it is Football and Summer. When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I discovered that both Fall and Spring were each only roughly two weeks. In the Fall, temperatures would suddenly drop and Winter ensued (there are predicted flurries for next week). In the Spring, temperatures would suddenly hit the 80’s and summer began. Not so this year.

One of the pleasures that I have enjoyed living in the Northeastern United States my entire life is the change of seasons. Winter and snow were always fun as a child, until I assumed the responsibility of shoveling. Spring was the renewed promise of rebirth and planting the gardens. Summer was the Jersey Shore. And then there was Fall, with football, marching band, and the responsibility of raking leaves BB (Before Blowers). It also was the time for apple picking, the smell of fireplaces, and Sukkot.

This year we have experienced a longer Fall than previous years, so these past two days of reclining on a chaise lounge and wearing a short-sleeved shirt have been a gift. But I have been the recipient of a far greater gift that must be acknowledged.

The chilly mornings (frost warnings many times) tell the deciduous trees that it is time to stop producing chlorophyll, and seal up for the winter. As they do so, the real colors of the leaves appear: brilliant golden yellow, pumpkin orange, blazing scarlet, burgundy towards purple, and brown. Living in the Allegheny Mountains, the opportunities to take in nature’s beauty surrounds me as foothills and steep climbs are in my backyard. And this where I admire the Divine Artist.

God takes hold of a palette and a paintbrush, and dabs the colors of Fall onto the trees. I have always enjoyed the changing colors, but this year I have opened myself up to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Divine Artist, with immense gratitude for this gift and the wisdom that I could recognize and appreciate it. Now I know where Bob Ross acquired his craft.

When the news of the day continues to sadden, frustrate or depress us, God gives us this gift of a vast, natural art gallery. I encourage you to take a break, find a good location, and just sit and absorb this enormous art museum. Admission is free! The sheer beauty just takes your breath away, improves your mood, and provides an opportunity to appreciate the genius of the Divine Artist at work. Thank you God.


[1] Native Pittsburghers

Sat, September 23 2023 8 Tishrei 5784