Afraid? Happy? Upset? Optimistic? Angry? Pessimistic? Apathetic? Sad? Confused?
Which word most accurately sums up your mood based on this week’s events in Israel?
It would certainly be interesting to take a survey. In the meantime however I would like to suggest that no matter what your response might be, the one cause behind all the above mentioned negative moods is “confusion”.
The wisest of all men, King Solomon, sums this up most succinctly in his Proverbs with the words “What brightens the eye gladdens the heart”. In other words when there is clarity there is joy, and only good things follow as a result.
The world around us is becoming ever more confused. The words of the prophet Isaiah ring ever so clear today. “Those who call evil good And good evil; Who present darkness as light And light as darkness; Who present bitter as sweet And sweet as bitter!”
So where do we find clarity?
Again we go back to King Solomon who was blessed with perhaps the greatest clarity known to man. He wrote in his Proverbs “The Torah is the light”.
If we want some clarity in our lives so that we can navigate a world permeated with profound confusion, we need light. And there is only one source of light, namely the “Torah”.
We the people of the book must click the “reset” button in our lives. Yes it is true we all lead such busy lives, filled with the every day pressures and stresses at work and at home. We have real problems to deal with, every moment of every day. We have no time as is it is. How can we possibly take time out to study? Let alone to study Torah?
The answer is simple: We can’t afford not to.
The world seems to be moving in the direction of greater uncertainty and confusion. We are therefore going to need even greater clarity in our lives then ever before.
We the Jewish people were empowered with the privilege and responsibility to be a “light unto the nations”. However we can only be that “light” unto the world if we allow that “light” of the “Torah” to shine through us.
As we celebrate and commemorate the festival of Shavuot “the time of the giving of the Torah” let us rededicate ourselves to the study of the Torah and light up the world around us.
Even ten minutes of Torah study every day will add huge value in our lives.