Newsletter Article - 08/23 -- Posted by hazzanmenes


What heals us?
Is it simply the bandage on our wound? Is it our immune system that fights infection? Is there an interaction between our will, our faith, and hope, and our body's ability to renew? During the period between Tisha B'Av and Rosh Hashanah in the Jewish calendar, we are 'comforted' by the words of Isaiah the prophet, that G-d will remember us. The implication is that the spiritual connection, drawing closer to the transcendant, provides safety and healing.

This is the time in the Jewish calendar to reflect, account for our souls, and gain strength as we move towards a new year.

In our prayer services, whether they be Jewish, Interfaith, or other, we say prayers for healing. We are all searching for the words to heal. Some of us have physical pain, some psychological, some spiritual. There are pieces of us that are broken. We attempt to connect to a higher power to give us strength to bring those broken pieces together and bind them, to make us whole. We ask for our pain to be relieved. We ask to move from misery to joy, from pity to gratitude.

The very act of asking for healing begins the process. Suddenly we recognize that we cannot do it alone, and that we don't have to. Asking others - including the transcendent - to help is like opening a window. Rather than weakness, it reveals that we know that an opening in the wall will not bring down the house. There is space for others under our roof. It is not you or me, but you and me, and I need you.

These days, we are wondering about opening our doors, and opening our borders. When we feel vulnerable, we close up. During the pandemic, we closed up. With good reason, for just as we were vulnerable to disease, so, too, were others concerned for their own health. Now, as the danger is past, we cautiously open our metaphorical windows and let others in. Spiritual distress parallels physical illness. When we feel hurt or broken, we close up, trying to reduce our vulnerability; as we heal, we let others in.

We may not be able to heal completely. Our pain may continue and our distress may be an unwanted passenger on our journey. However, we can always ask for healing. We can take that step in opening up: yes, we are still vulnerable, but we are also capable of revealing who we are. That is the difference we can make in this world.