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Making our lives an endless series of "favorable times"

ידיים מושטות בתפילה

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

I heard a psychologist say that we live in a technological, multi-media age in which each of us needs a safe room for the soul. The Holy Ari, Rabbi and Kabbalist Yitzhak Luria Ha'Ashkenazi, who passed away 451 years ago today, hinted at such a necessity, as described by Rabbi Hagai Lundin, as follows:

"The Holy Ari provided us with the means to dwell in an inner world that is not influenced by the reality outside. In one of the liturgical poems he composed for Shabbat, there is a message that makes it possible to find tranquility in stormy times:

'Rejoice in this hour, a favorable time, devoid of wrath.'

For all of us, there is a time 'devoid of wrath' -- an hour of contemplation or of Torah study, perhaps at a Shabbat meal or when surrounded by those dear to us, or in that moment of sweet success when our dreams come true. But that time is gone before we know it as we return to our grinding routine, WhatsApp pings, and a multitude of tasks and projects.

The Holy Ari beseeches us to locate these special times until, out of them, we build an inner resilience. Then we can truly rejoice in those moments when there is "a favorable time, devoid of wrath" -- when deepening our Torah study, when surrounding ourselves with those who fill us with joy, when extending a family meal at great length. Then slowly that 'favorable time' will spread throughout all the moments of our lives."

In his memory.


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