Monday, November 10, 2008

A Soldier's Perspective

Yom shlishi, 13 Cheshvan 5769.

I was going to write about soldiers today; but Soldier Boy just wrote a very nice essay at Through Josh-Colored Glasses; so I think I'll just post his excellent work instead. As I've said before, a little nepotism is a good thing.

Enjoy. This mama will shep a little nachas.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Strength in the Face of Despair

This post is a bit out of keeping with my usual style of writing, but I thought it important to remind people about why we do what we do.

I have heard talk.

People are afraid.

Politics in the states, potential wars, morality plummeting around the world, fear of the rising Islamic global terrorism, the sagging economy-the list is endless.

I heard a story about a man I know, a great man, who was afraid to bring children into the world. The sickness, the horror of it, kept him afraid of bringing more people to suffer into this world for the longest time, but his wife finally convinced him. He now has four great sons, may they only climb higher and bring honor to his name.

I heard a similar story that happened in Eygpt. A man there also refused to bring a child into the world, fearing the child's death, and he parted from his wife. A strong-willed daughter reunited them, and a son was born. That son was Moshe.

I am married, and I also had begun to feel this fear. Here I am, listening to all the sickness and rot of this world, and yet I am expected to bring another life into a world of death?

The answer to my question, of course, was my question. A highly Jewish concept.

We fear darkness, the evils from all around and seek a way to fix it, hide it, hide ourselves.

The answer is found in our children.

When Moshe was brought into this world, he came as a light into the darkness, dispelling night as a candle fills a room.

Each child born does run the risk. The path to darkness is easy. It is enticing. And the youth is drawn to it. The Pied Piper of comfort and money and depravity wears the shiniest coat, and plays the loudest music. And failing that, he does try to undercut the strong ones, the light ones.

But we must remember that each child we bring in could be another potential Moshe. Another potential candle. We must not despair, we must not falter. Dovid Hamelech speaks of the darkness surrounding him. But with perfect faith he stood up and fought the fear that came. We must battle the darkness. We must remember that the only way to defeat evil is to stand up and call it for what it is. We must never sacrifice our morals, even the smallest amount, because all darkness understands is power.
That power is our youth.

May G-d bless us with the ability to produce this light, to not be afraid to bring it forth, and to see the strength even a single candle can have. May the ultimate light come soon, and may we never need to fear anything again.
Posted by Hashke at 6:07 AM
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