It is the last week of school in our Sinai Akiba Academy community.
The night before my kindergartner’s graduation, we sat and created a word search. He asked me to write words into a puzzle of letters and afterwards, would look for them. But not just any words. He wanted me to choose words that would describe his year to come.
I tried to explain that I can’t predict what his first-grade year will look like and instead, asked him to describe what he is hoping for. After ten seconds of silence, he found his words. Friends, books, playing, learning, praying. We spoke about when you find your words, he gets to help decide what the year will be. A wonderful, glorious year to come.
Recently, Rabbi Cheryl Peretz taught about the multi-sensory experience of revelation. That when the Torah was given, the moment was fraught with visual and auditory stimulation. The actual giving of Torah was chaotic, perhaps even frightening for a human being to witness. And yet, according to the commentator Kli Yakar, after the tumult, letters of Torah floated through the air. God spoke letter by letter. The Jews quickly learned that to navigate through fear, Torah offers an anchor. We ride through the unknown by using words of Torah as our guide, fettered by faith.
One school year ends and another beckons. For many, graduations offer wonderings about the future. Questioning new beginnings and our place in the journey. In a way, we all wander through the wilderness. But through the anticipation, find your words. Let the letters of Torah hold you steady. You may not be able to predict what will occur, but like my kindergarten graduate, let your words shape the year you want to achieve.
Chosen, holy, steadying words that will lead you towards a Promised Land.
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.