January 27, 2023
The big three—
This week we see International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is on January 27 – commemorating the date the Soviet army liberated the prisoners of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. It is a shout through the echoes of time for us to remember, talk about, and teach those around us. The further we get from it, the fewer survivors there will be, and my fear is the closer we get to repeating it. We must focus on educating and teaching the youth about the reality of dehumanization.
We must end the dehumanization of any and all people and the segregation and hatred. It is not just a past thing. What happened once can happen again and may be happening now. We can stop it.
Unfortunately, while the world is honoring and remembering, I think back only a year to the only Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, banned in some communities – Maus by Art Spiegelman – telling the story of his father in concentration camps – with Jews depicted as mice and Nazis as cats, banned for having naked cartoon mice and using the phrase “god damn.” Well – God damn.
One of the joys of freedom is the ability to discuss things we do not all agree with. Censorship is becoming uglier and uglier and more and more restrictive. It does not contribute to that discussion, and removing important teaching aids like this is harmful. Let us hope book banning ends so discussion and education can reign.
If you do nothing more, at least light a candle to help elevate the souls of those and all victims of inhumanity.
And you might still be taking a moment to think about what you want for the year ahead. If every day of every year is the same, you have only lived one day; there are 365 days in a year – 365 opportunities for you to shine, to live your life as you want and as it was meant to be. How do you want to live it?
Maybe you want to ask for a dream of what you need to do, or maybe you want to make a list of goals for the year, or maybe you want to do a vision board – a visual blueprint of your wants and needs in life that you can look on, meditate on and move toward. Agent Kaye is a specialist at vision boards and seeing what goes outside the lines.
Last week G0d introduced himself to the world via the plagues of Egypt. He had said how, when, why, and what, and none of it had to do with punishing the Egyptians for their treatment of anyone or for a world of slavery, but if you took a poll, almost everyone would say that was the reason. And all these plagues are not long-ago events but current. They still occur in our lives. The first seven were presented, and I will remind you:
Blood contains the life force of man through which our souls; our ki; our nefesh; our ruach flows.
Frogs are a nuisance.
Lice are bloodsuckers and pests and disturb.
Beasts are the swarming mob that can sweep you up as either a victim or a member.
Pestilence is a plague that kills and destroys the food supply and has social implications.
Boils are another form of disease, but this one brings discrimination because it is about what you see and judge.
Hail was a destructive force that wiped out whatever food supply was left.
This week we see the next three – and to many, they are the true big three, although the ones from last week left Egypt bereft.
This week we have:
Locusts – they bring devastation and contribute nothing. They decimated anything that was left.
Darkness was such that it was palpable. You could not see your hand in front of you. Darkness brings fear because we cannot see. Lighting a candle brings light and drives fear away. This dark would not be stopped by a candle, and that kind of fear leaves you paralyzed and afraid to move. This is the plague that probably affects people the most still to this day. How many of us still live in darkness? What is it you refuse to see? Do you fear the light because it hurts your eyes? What can we each do to help bring more light to ourselves and the world? You can certainly start by bringing it into your own life and, when you do – help bring it to others.
And finally, there was death of the first-born – ma’kat bech’orot – purposed mass execution – not first-born Egyptians – first-born in Egypt – for everyone who did not have the blood of the sacrifice on the doorposts and lintels – perhaps the vaccine passport of ancient times.
You can overcome all the plagues of life. Continue to let the growing light into your lives because light gives us the ability to see, and when we can see, we need not be afraid. Keep practicing forgiveness and use this time to continue to forgive those you need to forgive and ask forgiveness from those you need to seek forgiveness from and give thanks and celebrate your freedom and joy; do not succumb to fear – and please feel free to share this audio and video with any you think might enjoy it, and of course, enjoy all of our past audio and video episodes which are available on our YouTube channel. This episode will be posted on our channel – click here to watch the Rabbi David Gellman Show in the 2023 cycle.
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Thank you all for allowing me into your homes, into your electronic devices, into your hearts – as you are all with me in mine –
Be well, be happy, be healthy, be free, be kind, be forgiving, be compassionate, be independent of mind and deed, be mindful of your intentions and be good to yourself. Continue to celebrate freedom of choice in your life and do not give in to the fear which is so prevalent, and enjoy the peace that comes from acceptance – and as always – if you have any questions or suggestions or want to say “hi,” please send me an email. I love hearing from you.
And remember, anytime you do not want to receive these anymore; please send me an email so I can remove you. And know – that I truly appreciate your sharing your sacred time with me.
Enjoy and celebrate your life and the lives of others. In doing so, be safe, my friends, be happy, and may you all sow the seeds of and reap the rewards of peace, love, and miracles. Make sure you also celebrate your unique individuality and your incredible awesomeness.
And remember – your world is what you make it. Just wish upon a star and continue to be a miracle in someone’s life and light the light of love. May the year bring all your hopes, dreams, and wishes to fruition.
Respecting our past; Putting faith in your future