When Emunah is not Enough: By Shmuel Sackett
1 Elul, 5774/August 27, ‘14
The big word on the streets these days is “Emunah”. Best selling books such as “The Garden of Emunah” can be found everywhere and shiurim on this important subject are given daily. I am a big fan of Emunah and it guides my every move but talking all day about Emunah tends to take away from what is REALLY needed which is: “The Garden of ACTION”. This is the difference between “believing” what will happen versus “making” it happen. Allow me to offer this as your personal Rosh Ha’Shanah goal (otherwise known as the Jewish New Year’s resolution): Make 5745 a year which you don’t only believe and trust in Hashem but a year where you turn those beliefs and goals into positive actions! Make it happen people… and make it happen NOW!!!
Do you believe that Jews belong in Israel?
Do you believe that after 2,000 years of being in the exile, Hashem has returned us to our land?
If this is your belief, then take the actions necessary to open the present given to you by Hashem. Don’t just look at the box with that fancy gift-wrapping paper – OPEN IT!! Take a look at what your Father and King has given you… yes YOU!! He gave this present to YOU – a member of His chosen people.
If you think I’m kidding, please think otherwise and start paying attention to what is being read in shul.
From last week’s Torah reading – Parshas Re’eh (14:2) “For you are a holy people to Hashem, your G-d, and Hashem has chosen YOU for Himself to be a treasured people, from among all the people on the face of the earth.”
Do you realize what that means? Billions of people out there in the world from across the globe and Hashem chose the small, tiny Jewish nation to be His personal people. What an amazing honor, privilege and responsibility! We belong to Hashem… exclusively! Wow!!
And what about what we just read a few days ago in Mussaf of Rosh Chodesh? We said the following, “Because You chose the nation of Israel from among all
the nations of the world…”
If you davenned Mussaf, you said these words and even if you didn’t, I know you believe them but here’s my question:
While you believe it, do you LIVE it?
By “living it”, I really mean; do you ACT UPON IT?
Both the Torah and the Tefila says that we are the chosen people which means that Hashem has great plans for us, far above the other nations of the world.
This is the time to turn that belief into serious action.
Therefore, stop saying empty phrases like, “Next year in Jerusalem” and start acting upon it!
Stop singing about Moshiach and start figuring out how to pick him up at the airport!
And most importantly of all, stop just believing as a Jew and start living as one!
Let me explain what that means. I meet people who tell me that they wished they lived in Israel. I must admit that I don’t understand that statement. What does it mean “you wish”?? Go and do it! People who wanted to be doctors didn’t “wish” all day long! They went to university, got good grades then entered medical school where they slaved for years. After that came the boards and internship and residency. Nobody was just “wishing” – they were working hard at turning their dreams into realities. The same thing with life in Israel. Unlike the “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy simply clicked her heels and went back to Kansas, life in Israel requires hard work. It can be done – but only if you realize that belief and Emunah are not enough. Life in Israel is what is necessary to live as a complete and total Jew and Hashem would never ask us to do something that was impossible.
Therefore, after you finish reading “Garden of Emunah” start planting your own garden that takes those ideas and teachings and turns them into serious actions. Remember what our fathers and mothers said before receiving the Torah: “Na’ah’seh ve’Nish’mah” – We will DO and we will listen… the “DOING” came first!! Follow their example and make 5775 a year of Jewish action for you and your entire family!