Questions and Answers
Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav taught, “As your answers become my questions, perhaps my questions may become your answers.” In just over a week we will both conclude the secular year and finish reading the first book of the Torah. During these transitional times, we take an introspective look inside ourselves, prioritizing our values, and deciding which paths we wish to follow in the year ahead.
Rabbi A.L Scheibaum teaches that the beginning of any endeavor is critical; the success depends on the quality of its inception. Our forefather Jacob, when he sees his son Joseph, does not reciprocate the hug from his son because he is reciting the Shema. Jacob comprehends the difficult struggle that lay ahead ahead for his people in Egypt. By reciting the Shema, this exile will have started with a declaration of faith.
We are not a people of vows and promises, but a people of faith. Yet, faith is not a magic spell. Faith does not come in answers, but it comes in questions. As we enter the closing days of 2017, let us look forward, declare what we believe in, and ponder how these beliefs can shape the year ahead.