Impulsive feelings. Imagery. Public pressure. Shaming. Who would imagine the power these currently wield? If we can travel back in time and ask people what their opinion would be, taking into account the relative risk involved, regarding shutting down schools, not visiting the elderly, masking young children… I imagine the answer would be very different from the reality we currently live In.
Or how about gender depending on feeling. Or voting for a president whose health & mental capacities are clearly shaky. Defending widespread vandalism. Smear campaigns against good people. Unchecked lust for power, and the list goes on.
Like fashion, it depends on what the “cultured” have spoken. Large eyeglasses were in when I was a kid. Then came small, and the smaller the better. Then back to large. It’s shocking how all people’s tastes change depending on what they’re seeing. Looking at the way we were dressed 30 years ago has us wondering what we were thinking?!
How we dress is one thing but thinking depending on the local culture is not the way it should be.
This is indeed the theme of Chanukah: It may feel sophisticated to dress like a Greek. It may feel cultured to think like a Greek, but as a Yid we think Jewish. Thinking Jewish is the mindset of recognizing there’s a creator of this world. Who was, is and will continue to be. And Who watches and cares about how we behave. This may feel old fashioned, but it’s fresh, current and real.
As we’re going to press, we received word on the passing of Rabbi Shimon Raichik, Rav of Congregation Levi Yitzchok. Rabbi Raichik was a passionate Yid of the old school on one hand, but very approachable and personable on the other. A big loss for the Chabad community.
Next week is also the first yahrtzeit of my wife’s aunt, Morah Mira Labkowsky. A wise, real person who had great depth, yet was very approachable and enjoyed a good laugh.
These were people who were grounded in authentic yidishkeit, which gave them a strong foundation and enriched their lives. This is the secret of the Neshama and the eternity of the Jewish people.
By living a life filled with soul, independent of passing fads and whims, we will complete the mission we were born to accomplish: the revelation of G-d, here in this physical world. When we shall no longer experience want or pain, with the coming of Moshiach now.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,