I’m sure you have all been there, you know, that place where you get all tied up. Every morning, without fail mind you, I run down the stairs feeling as if my hat is on fire. I’m late once again, and this time I thought I would make it. I rush to my shoes, feeling that if I can only get through this last challenge without mishap, then maybe the minyan won’t notice that the Rav is a few minutes late. Grabbing the shoe, I schlep the laces apart, and, no, not again? Yes, again as always, the laces are entangled in a knot that seems fashioned by some mad genius.
I sigh; it is going to be one of those mornings. The knot doesn’t give, the more I pull, the worse it seems. Tears are now forming in my eyes, please knot, give me a break. I am now using the point of my pen to open one of the loops; dark thoughts enter my mind, thoughts of grabbing a knife and cutting the whole mess apart. Then I remember I don’t even have a spare pair of shoe laces to replace them with. The more I schlep, the worse it gets. My glasses are now perched on my far head, and I am looking at the small yet evil knot with all the scrutiny of a diamond dealer looking at a new gem.
I say to myself, Rubin, calm down…think…it is only a shoe lace.’ I take deep breaths, and look outside at my forlorn car. Stop beating yourself up Rubin,’ comes the voice of experience, take it easy, one step at a time.’ Sure, I know all that, BUT I’M LATE! Finally after another schlep and an added pull, the lace gives in. I am now free to go, and of course, be late once again. Oh well I sigh, its bashert, it was destined to happen, so relax.
The last time I had this tug of war with my shoe laces, it got me to thinking about how much like life this all was. You start off with a rather simple task. Get from point A, i.e. your birth, to your end, without tying yourself up in a knot. Simple, but beyond the scope of our abilities. No, we schlep and pull the ends of our lives, and create impossible knots that seem impenetrable. Where does one go from here? How do you get free from the entanglement of daily life?
Like knotted shoe laces, the tangled lives we live are the product of our own haste and forgetfulness. We rush about without thinking of what our true destiny is. The knots get thicker and denser until we forget our holly mission. The Jewish destiny is the our redemption and ultimately that of the entire world. We should not find ourselves so preoccupied that we forget that we await the Moshiach coming and the light that such a time will bring.
You may ask, “How can I remember about the ultimate redemption when I can’t get out the front door?” But this is just the point sweet Yidden; the knot in our lives will not become undone until we create an ambience of patience. Then we can undo the cords that bind our souls with a serenity that such knowledge brings.
This kapital tells us how to integrate this soft serenity into our daily lives. It is said on Friday mornings and again on Friday night at kabalas haShabbos. Its main theme tells us that the Moshiach will appear, and that we must never lose faith in this. When you know that there is an end, a moment when it will be light, then you can focus on the daily strife with another new awareness. Friday, holy Friday with all its hustle and bustle can seem like a time of chaos, but no, it is the doorway to Shabbos, the time that may’ein olam haba, “like the world to come”. If you are connected with your ultimate goal, then the knots seem easier to undo.
HASHEM MALACH GEI’US LAVESH… “Hashem will have reigned, He will have donned grandeur; Hashem will have donned might and girded Himself; even firmed the world that it should not falter.”
When the Moshiach comes, the entire world will realize Hashem’s grandeur. In truth Hashem does not have attire, for His essence has no form. However, humans need physical handles for aspects that go beyond our comprehension. Therefore Hashem will “don” and “gird Himself” so that the entire world will realize His truth.
NACHON KISACHA MEI’AZ… “Your throne was established from old, eternal are You.”
Our ancestors knew of Hashem’s oneness. For the Jew, Hashem has always been the sole truth.
NAS’U NEHAROS… “Like rivers they raised, O Hashem, like rivers they raised their voice; like rivers they shall raise their destructiveness.”
The enemies that surround us are like rivers, they flow fast and cold, with little regard to any borders or boundaries. The knots in our soul are pinched together because the bitterness of these cold rivers freezes our hearts. We cannot even feel the pain, so rushed are these destructive forces.
MIKOLOS MAYIM RABIM… “More than the rivers of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, You are mighty on high, Hashem.” But if we are connected to Hashem, if we know in our hearts that one day there will be an awareness of His greatness, then we can undo the constricting ropes that keep us bound. Hashem’s will is greater than all the rivers, all the seas, for He is creator of every thing, of every moment.
EIDOSECHA NEEMNU MEOD… “Your testimonies are exceedingly trustworthy, about Your House, the Sacred Dwelling, O Hashem, may it be for lengthy days.”
This realization of Hashem’s totality can be muffled by the strains of the here and now. However when He will re-establish His Sanctuary, then His presence will be felt throughout the world. There will be such enormous spiritual energy that it will be apparent to all that Hashem lives in every living creation, from the blade of grass to the greatest of waves.
Come with me to any shul, daven a Friday night tefilla, and say these words with other Yidden. Tell me, doesn’t it make it easier; don’t the knots become smaller? Yes, we enter Shabbos, a Moshiachdike day when we shed the knots that bind us in anger.