Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gimmel Tammuz Reflections

The Rebbe with Rabbi JJ Hecht at a Lag BaOmer rally

Rabbi Yossi Braun sent out this poignant email of his thoughts as we approach Gimmel Tammuz.

Rebbe Oh Rebbe!
Reflections for Gimmel Tammuz
By Rabbi Yossi Braun

My fingers are numb, the keyboard buttons are stiff and rigid, the mouse has frozen and the computer screen is staring me right in the eye appearing as one mass of blurriness. I want to scream and shout; tell the world his glory…

I want to give a message loud and clear in CAPS, BOLD AND UNDERLINED – Let my people know….

But it’s not happening. The words have become stuck in my throat. And my fingers are not cooperating.

I just can’t. I’m at a loss for words.

I have zero answers and loads of questions, doubts, confusions and uncertainties.
This is the wrong day, date and occasion. No, I can’t come to terms with it. I hate it.
The most eloquent speaker, the most meaningful metaphor, the most moving story – it just doesn’t work for me.

No explanation can do justice. No theory can cure the wound.
There is this huge gaping hole in my heart and no rationale can fill the hole and bridge the gap. You just can’t mend a broken heart.

But depression, melancholy and grieving is so off the mark too.

And “remembering his legacy” and “getting on with life” is just so amiss, so wrong and anathema to everything we stand for.
It’s called “losing the plot”. Missing the point. Totally off.

No, silence is not an option either.

Something must be said. Related. Announced. And possibly even shouted from the hilltops.
But what is that “something”? How do we go about it? Where is the secret formula?
It doesn’t exist. There is no secret formula

Which brings me back to the beginning: My fingers are numb, the keyboard buttons are stiff and rigid, the mouse has frozen…..

We’re lost, confused and torn. Torn between reality and another form of reality. Between heart and mind. Between The Truth and our truth. Between the present and the future.

Sure, we know and understand: the Rebbe is here like before. With us and in us. Nothing has changed.

Yet, the heart is still aching: nothing has changed yet so much has changed; so much is lacking and wanting.

Certainly, we believe with perfect faith, we acknowledge the fact that Moshiach is coming any second; it’s going to be something like never before. But, “we need some spirits ‘til we get to the bar”.

Rebbe Oy Rebbe! How we long to see your holy face again and draw inspiration from your holy countenance! If only we can hear your voice once again. One more time.

Shir Hashirim feels so relevant like never before.

Oh Rebbe! “Show me your appearance, let me hear your voice, for your voice is pleasant and your appearance is comely”.

I remember the farbrengens; I remember the Rebbe’s voice. How good were the days when “I delighted and sat in his shade and his fruit was so sweet to my palate”.

“On my bed at night, I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him but I did not find him. I will arise and go about the city, in the market places and in the city squares. I will seek him…”

Hey. Wait a minute. I hear something. True. I’m in a deep slumber but my heart is awake and beating fast. It’s coming. Here it is.

Kol dodi dofek. My beloved is knocking: Open for me, my sister, my beloved….
I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had hidden and was gone. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he did not answer me”.

A moment of truth, but it’s all gone. What now? So where do we go from here?

We all have those moments where it rings so true. Where we experience a glimpse of the future, a taste of “living with Moshiach”. Where we begin to appreciate our higher calling.

This was a moment which needs to be savoured. It was a moment where the heart has detected some of the brainwaves. It became in touch with The Truth. It has been washed, if only for a moment, with the Torah Truth.

“Behold, he is standing behind our wall, watching through the windows, peeking through the lattices”.

We ought to take those fleeting moments of inspiration and invest them. Build on them. ACT ON IT.

Create an ongoing dialogue between your heart and mind. The gap can be bridged and will be bridged. You can sync your heart with the reality of Torah. Align your emotions with the promise of a future.

It works. Action is the place where heart and mind can meet.

Through “following in his footsteps”, learning about Moshiach and keeping his directives, it will happen. It will be for real. In this world. B’gashmiyus mamosh. And imminently, very very soon.

“The sound of my beloved, behold, he is coming, skipping over the mountains, jumping over the hills”.