Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Leap of Faith

A leap of Faith

Getting married requires such leap of faith for both parties as to be almost unbelievable when you think about it. Two parties from different families with different mixes of personalities and often very different backgrounds; even if they are raised in the same faith as we would hope with two Jewish halves of a one neshama  finding each other, requires an enormous amount of trust in Hashem’s power and benevolence and mercy.

I want to tell a story about two people which always affects me so much that I feel almost teary whenever  I think about it. You have a holocaust where people suffered enormous harm physically, emotionally and psychologically. Whole families ripped away and slaughtered often before the horrified eyes of survivors. People who had to witness unfathomable acts of cruelty by human beings on others and often experienced them in the case of Mengele’s twins. Often there was only one survivor of extended families, let alone immediate families. 

There was a man who had lost all his family and he was in a transit camp in some part of Europe. He decided obviously to make a step in a very positive direction. He went to the section where the young women holocaust survivors were. Apparently the story goes something like this. He knocked on the door of the hut and said to the young woman who opened the door, ‘I need a wife. Will you marry me?’ She apparently did not hesitate but said ‘Yes, I will.’ They came to Australia and built a new life and raised eight wonderful children and have many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

That courageous step forward requires a leap of faith on the part of the man and the woman. Sometimes fear can rule our lives and we are afraid to move forward. Whether it is to move on from the ashes of the holocaust and darkness of destruction into the light of a new life or to move on from the warm and cosy family of our childhood into a new life with a virtual stranger but not really as we must trust Hashem that he puts us with our other half, and to create our own family and home, it requires courage and a whole new lease on life. It requires one to leap into the future trusting in Hashem and believing that all is for the best, even if it is difficult to make that transition and sometimes it is not easy for a choson to open the emotional door and say ‘I need a wife. I need my other half. Will you marry me?’ just as it is not easy for the kalla to say,’ Yes, I will.’ In other words, ‘You are my other half and I accept and trust that Hashem is putting us together for a holy purpose.’ Too often young men and women are bound or restricted by other concerns that perhaps have little to do with whether that person will be a good partner in life, a husband or wife and it requires going back to a leap of faith that calls each of them to step out of their comfort zone and to just be there at the moment and to grasp it. Despite all that has gone before, we must grasp the moment and leap into the future and understand that Hashem has put us in this time and space for a moment and all we have to do it to recognise it and take advantage of it.

To be cynical and to lack hope is to acknowledge the other side the darkness of despair and to allow it to take over our destiny and not the light of understanding given us by Hashem. We deny positive possibilities only because we have allowed the negative to take precedence in our lives. Everything we have and are is for a purpose. We just have to acknowledge it as so and to go with the flow.

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