I have never understood people who refuse medical treatment due to religious beliefs. After all, if we believe that G-d creates everything, than surely we should also believe that this includes people who become doctors and chemists and researchers, and those who invent life saving treatments and medicines. G-d is everything, and everything is G-d.So who then is Man and Woman? We are souls in bodies, and as long as we stay connected to Hashem, our souls are ignited and fulfilled… and Hashem moves through us. Of course, Hashem is always there, always in all of us, but it does take effort on our behalf to stay connected with Him. In fact, it was taught to me from a reader of this blog, that “Fear of G-d” actually means a fear of losing connection with Him. While human beings need legitimate fear in order to stay in line… or at least most of us do… this is far more meaningful to me. I know we need to fear the ramifications of our actions… I know we need to fear the consequences of our choices… and I know, in a sense, we need to fear G-d… but, at least for me, I want to be in awe of G-d and all of His creations… and fear losing my connection with Him.
So how do we keep this connection?
We do this through the Three T’s… although I actually think there are four.
Teshuva or repentance “is recognizing one’s errors and making an effort not to repeat them.”
Tefilah or prayer is “a conversation with G-d.”
Tzedakah or charity is “reaching out beyond one’s self” in action and deed. Giving of ourselves, and this can be financial or also time and effort.
The obvious fourth T is Torah and study. This, at least to me, goes beyond the act of prayer, and has to do with really learning and understanding Torah, and how it is truly the blueprint for all things.
So why is this piece entitled “When Man Is Not Enough”?A friend of mine who is dealing with some health issues and has far more reason to question Hashem than I do said something rather profound to me. He knew I was in a battle of faith, knew I was struggling and said, “Put your trust in HIM… not Man.” He also mentioned a group, but I don’t want to mention it here. The idea is clear… a connection with Hashem is the most important thing we can have. It is actually what allows us to have connections with our loved ones and friends… with the community… with other groups. It HAS TO start with Hashem.
It’s like the old Oxygen Mask Analogy… We MUST put our own masks on first, before we can help others… We MUST love ourselves before we can love others… and we MUST be connected to Hashem, before we can connect to others.
And yet, there is also a more ominous lesson… or at least a sad one, and one I am seeing first hand. Many people mean well… many people offer to help… and just as many people fall off… This is the difference between doing the right thing and doing the “kind” thing. Kindness can be very subjective. It’s what we THINK is best, though it may not always be for the person we are trying to be “kind” to. Doing the RIGHT thing is always objective and is always right… not always easy, but always right.The lesson is clear… sadly, we cannot always rely on man, nor should we. Man can let us down, man can betray us, man can make promises and then never follow through. But Hashem will never do that. Hashem will always be there for us, even when He is testing us, it is for our benefit, to make us stronger and help us move ahead. This is most definitely not always easy, nor obvious… and it is something I struggle with, and am struggling with, but there is a consistency with Hashem that just does not exist with groups and man. Meaning well and doing well are two different things.
So for us, the lesson is this… BE the Man and Woman who is enough. Start by connecting with Hashem through Tefilah, Teshuva, Tzedakah and Torah. Be enough for yourself… be fulfilled… and then you will be enough for others. And if you offer help, then you better deliver on it. You need to be enough for others. And when you are promised help and guidance, pursue it, of course, but only with a healthy skepticism. Expect nothing from man… and EVERYTHING from Hashem. For it is sad to say, but man is not enough. Connect higher, expect more, put your trust in Him.