A Bisl Torah

After the Quake

We just came back from a short trip to San Francisco. We visited many San Francisco landmarks and the tour guides often quipped the same refrain, “We learned our lesson after the quake.” Sometimes it was the 1906 earthquake; other times the 1989 quake was referenced. With each disaster, buildings and bridges were retrofitted to withstand the impending next tremor. It was fascinating listening to the amount of time, effort and talent that goes into protecting lives and sustaining the existing beauty of this northern Californian metropolis.

I couldn’t help but think about what it would look like if we managed our hearts in a similar fashion. After enduring destructive relationships, do we look at the structure of our lives and ask if we are ready to sustain another break? How much struggle and shattering can our souls take after significant moments of pain and loss? Like an architect, is it possible to retrofit our lives so that we can continue to endure impending occurrences of grief, sadness, disappointment, and sorrow?

If there is a crack in one’s home, it seems as if the foundation is first inspected. So too, when cracks are revealed in our lives, we must do an intake. Do we have a community that supports us through our more difficult moments? Who lifts us up when we feel as if the walls are caving in? When is the last time we conducted an inspection of our lives?

Perhaps when we retrofit our lives, examine our foundation, and bolster our hearts, that is when we will understand the lesson from Psalms: “God is our refuge and stronghold, a help in trouble, very near. Therefore, we are not afraid, though the earth reels….”

The earth will reel in more ways than one. As our lives shift back and forth, may we withstand its shaking. With each quake, we must learn how to gain strength, wisdom, and understanding so that our hearts learn how to love again.

Shabbat Shalom

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