As you enter Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah, the recorded narration plays in the shuttle bus. One voice from the Paiute Native American tribe declares, “We believe that everything in this world has a purpose. Human beings, animals, trees, and even rocks.” As you gaze upwards and outwards you truly see God’s creative masterpieces: the Narrows Canyons, hanging gardens of greenery in the desert, and beautiful red rock from iron mineral carved into magnificent structures. Rabbi Guzik and I, along with our three young children, hiked up and down and all around, often outside of our normal comfort zone, to become one with nature.
The Torah teaches us that a chok, a statute, is a commandment that has no apparent rational reason. However, the Sefat Emet explains that we are able to understand a chok after it has been performed. Before we understand these laws, they are not externally appealing. Yet, after engaging with it, we are given a rich spiritual flavor that we cannot live without.
After three days in Zion National Park, hiking the trails of this great nation, my one word to describe this experience would be as a chok—-you must experience to believe it. As I left Zion, I realized the feeling was familiar. For the Zion that we turn our thoughts and prayers to everyday acts in the same manner. Try it…taste it….It’s well worth it.