Each year when Parshat Eikev arrives, I think to myself, “If I knew then…” Twenty-six years ago, I celebrated my Bar Mitzvah, acting as teacher and preacher. While I cannot recall the words I said that morning, I can remember the feeling that the world was at my fingertips. In one year, I would be graduating middle school, in four years, college. And yet, today I wish I could go back to that Bar Mitzvah boy, and say, “If I Knew Then…”
If I knew then… I would celebrate utmost joy in marriage to Rabbi Guzik, and be the father of 3 wonderful children.
If I knew then… I would suffer the premature loss of my brother.
If I knew then… I would serve amazing congregations across the United States as a Rabbi, using my personal passions to engage communities.
If I knew then… I would be in quarantine for almost six months with no end in sight, separated from my closest friends and family.
We all have moments of “If I knew then.” Twenty-six years later, I have more questions for my thirteen-year-old self than answers.
Our Torah teaches when one has eaten and been satisfied, a blessing of gratitude must be recited.
For all that we have experienced, may we pray for the ability to continue to recite this blessing. And for all that will come our way, may we have the faith to continue to trust in each other and in our sacred communities.