February 7, 2018
The synagogue, dawn, another day begins.
Early morning, pre dawn, walking to the synagogue. A busy weekday, cars passing by, people already in a hurry to make a living, to survive.
Everyone is in such a hurry. Time waits for no man.
I enter the synagogue, the house of prayer, and all is tranquil, quiet, just the sounds of the early risers beginning their prayers. A community, that is all we have, a community of souls that unite.
I look around the room, everyone has a story. An older man who found his way back home to his faith, reading slowly through the prayer book, one letter at a time. Another man whom I have known for decades, he is here every morning like the eternal light.
and I begin the prayers, the same words that my father prayed, the same words we have uttered for millennium.
I say the words..Blessed are you our God, king of the world, that has given to my mind the wisdom to distinguish between day and night.
We say these words, everyday, they become almost automatic. We say Amen, but do we think about the words?
How profound! Everything we need is right here, in these ancient texts, scrolls and prayer books. In a world gone confused and crazy we begin our day by saying, Thank you God for teaching us there IS a right and a wrong. There IS a day and a day, and they are different.
One who cannot tell day from night, good from bad, or right from wrong, is lost. Soon he will have Identity Confusion.
We begin our day the right way. Thank you God for giving my mind the ability to see light from darkness, good from bad, day from night. For this is the beginning of all wisdom.
There are good forces in the world and evil forces. We must have the wisdom to see the difference, to know that not all that appears good is good and not all that appears bad is bad. As Joshua met the Angel of God and not yet knowing who it was, said, Are you with us or against us? (Book of Joshua, chapter 5, verse 13)
וְהִנֵּה-אִישׁ עֹמֵד לְנֶגְדּוֹ וְחַרְבּוֹ שְׁלוּפָה בְּיָדוֹ; וַיֵּלֶךְ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ: הֲלָנוּ אַתָּה אִם-לְצָרֵינוּ
יהושע ה יג
When you do not know what is good or bad, when you cannot tell day from night, light from dark, then you are a man living in a fog, confused and disoriented.
We begin our day by clarifying this point and thanking God for bestowing us with this wisdom. This is the first of the morning blessings of gratitude. This is the foundation.
When it comes to self defense, martial arts, Krav Maga, all is useless if we are not prepared. All your skills are of no value whatsoever if you are walking around in a fog.
As I leave the synagogue a man is walking towards me on the sidewalk. I look at him closely, our eyes meet, he might be a homeless person, I am not sure. We nod and say a friendly good morning after sizing each other up. As Joshua said so bluntly over 3,500 years ago: are you with us or against us.
The world is filled with wonderful people but we must keep our eyes open at all times, we must learn to distinguish between Day and Night, and the rest my friends is commentary.
Have a Great Day.
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