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Thought for the Day: Getting Clarity That HaShem Runs the World

Tomorrow is Tisha b'Av.  Tomorrow we commemorate that we have lost everything.  We actually to more that merely commemorate, we try to really feel our loss.  We don't eat, we sit on the floor, we sit on the floor, we read Eicha, and say kinos.  In every way possible to we work to impress upon ourselves the total spiritual desolation in which we find ourselves.  How do we best utilize this time?  What did Chazal want from us?  We can find role model in Dovid haMelech, who speaks from the heart of klal Yisrael.

There is a strange juxtaposition of p'sukim in T'hillim 117.  In pasuk 11, Dovid haMelech says (as explained by Chazal), "I said while I was running from Shaul haMelech, that even the promise of Shmuel haNavi cannot protect me!"  And, immediately in pasuk 11, "How can I repay HaShem for all the kindness He has bestowed on me?"  Crying out that even though he had been anointed king by HaShem's prophet he still has to flee for his life doesn't seem to go with "Baruch HaShem!  Things are so good!"

I spent the last week in San Francisco.  Every day was foggy, damp, and drizzly (that's their August, go figure).  We would get very excited if the fog would lift even a little and allow us to see a bit farther than usual.  It is actually quite breathtaking to look out over the bay and see the Golden Gate Bridge illuminated by rays of sunshine amidst the fog.

We live in a world of fog.  We are socked in "kochi v'otzem yadi" -- I am successful because of my abilities and my powers.  The only way to penetrate that fog is for HaShem to show us clearly that we are not in charge.  Dovid HaMelech was a great military leader, extremely charismatic.  He could have made a mistake and ascribed some of his success to his great abilities.  But HaShem showed Dovid HaMelech that he had not the slightest bit of control; everything was from HaShem.  Dovid HaMelech teaches us that when HaShem lifts the fog to give us clarity that it is HaShem (and HaShem alone) who runs the world, there is not greater cause for celebration.  I'YH, our fasting and and suffering should give us clarity to see the yad HaShem in every aspect of our lives and we should all be zoche to enjoy being together at the Bais HaMikdash in Yerushalayim very soon and in our lifetime.

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