If you are anything like me you will spend a good amount of your life lost. Not just temporarily tzumished, but unadulteratedly lost, fahrblungered, without a clue. I am a hazard to anyone who travels with me; I can get lost going around my own house, and even directions don’t help when I have to venture further than my door step.
One of my favorite pastimes is trying to find my car in a parking lot. I know, you are meant to take note of where you are placing your car when you leave it. But then, you are in a rush, and figure, oh yeh, my car is next to that huge green one not far from the sporty white one. You go into the shop, and upon leaving, you realize that someone has changed everything around. The green truck is gone, and that white sport job has long departed for pastures new. I stand there, all of a sudden starts raining “nuch,” I have a trolley, full of food, that has a mind of its own, and I can’t find the car. I walk up, I walk down; it’s lost, finito. Just then, as if a lighthouse beacon has been turned on, I see what seems to be my vehicle. I steer the wobbly wheeled trolley towards it, holding my umbrella aloft. The trolley breaks free and crashes into the back of what is now apparently my car. I am home, safe and sound.
Of course, not many are as prone to getting lost as I seem to be, however, we have all gone astray at some time or another. Galus is the state of that loss, it is not what we want but it is the reality we have. The neshama seeks its home throughout its time here on earth, and because we are still in galus it never really can feel it has arrived in its natural habitat. There are days when we feel this disappointment deeper than others, days when the disquiet churns like acid in the heart. The main thing is never to lose hope, there is an end to our loss, and it is in Hashem’s Plan to bring it.
This kapitel was composed on the day David Hamelech brought the Holy Ark from its temporary place in the home of Oved Edom to the holy city of Yerushalayim. It speaks of “coming home,” how the spiritual can find its proper resting place. People have always read its moving words and attached these lessons to their own situation.
Hodu LaHashem … “Give thanks to Hashem, declare His Name, make His acts known among the nations.”
We are in this galus so that we can give a living example of what Hashem’s Name is to this material world. We can be found in every corner of the globe, and although we feel lost, we must remain focused on our purpose.
Shiru Lo, Zamru Lo … “Sing to Him, make music to Him; speak of all his wonders.”
No matter where the lottery of life puts you, you have a destiny. That is to create a kiddush Hashem by creating a Holy ambience wherever you are. The wonder that is music is that it goes into the soul, by living a life imbued with Hashem’s Spirit, you become part of this holy melody and hence speak of Hashem’s greatness at the highest of levels.
Hishallelu Besheim Kadsho … “Glory in His Holy Name, be glad of heart, you who seek Hashem.”
No matter how lost you may be in this mortal place, if you remain glad in heart that you are a Yid who is seeking, then you will be always safe.
Dirshu Hashem … “Search out Hashem and His might, seek His presence always.”
When you are lost, you must seek a landmark that will guide you home. Hashem’s presence, His might, is that marker for which the Jewish soul pines.
Zichru Nifle’osav … “Remember His wonders that He has wrought, His marvels and the judgements of His mouth.”
When your heart becomes cramped by the worry of being lost, you need just remember how Hashem has shown His love throughout our history. When one is blundering through the undergrowth of the jungle, it is easy to forget what is real. Hashem’s word, His marvels each day, that is the reality and hope.
There is no figure in our history that was more lost than Yosef Hatzaddik. Sold as a slave, hated by all, lied to, disowned, yet his focus was total. The kapitel tells us all this:
Inu Bakevel Raglo … “They afflicted his foot with fetters; his soul was placed in irons.”
His very soul had been tied up with bands of restrictive steel. He lay in jail lost but never without Hashem.
Ad Eis Bo Devaro … “Until the time that His word came to pass, the word of Hashem made him pure.”
At the moment that Hashem designated, Yosef came out free and pure, because throughout the tribulations he never lost his faith. The very trials he endured purged him so that he could ascend to his new calling.
Imagine the man lies in a dark and dank cell, forgotten by all he has helped. Then, in one moment, “They rushed him from the pit,” no discussion, not judicial appeal, nothing. One wink of the eye and he stands in front of the monarch. Sometimes we worry how we will find the strength to overcome our difficulties, then in a moment the light turns on, and all is clear.
From such beginnings we began our sojourn in Egypt, and there again, times became dark, only to see Hashem lift us out and take us through the very seas.
Vayotzi’eim Bekesef … “And He took them out with silver and gold, and among His tribes was none who stumbled.”
The Imrei Emes said, “The psalmist wishes to tell us that the money did not spoil them.” We were taken out of that materialistic place with silver and gold, but because we were now focused, none fell into the trap that wealth often offers.
Yidden, this will all end, this loss of way will bring a time of redemption.
Vayotzi Amo Vesason … “And He led out His nation with mirth, His chosen ones with joyous song.”
From our loss will be born our joyous song. However, there will be one point to it all.
Ba’avur Yishmeru Chukav … “So that they might safeguard His statutes and observe His teachings. Praise Hashem!”
No matter how lost we become, we should never lose sight of this special undertaking, all of it will be so that we keep Hashem’s Will and create kedusha throughout the darkness.