Another World to Live In

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat BeHar

Judaism dreams of a world in which human dignity is real and the presence of God is manifest. Yet the world we live in falls excruciatingly short of that dream. To take Torah seriously, on the one hand, and to live with our eyes and hearts open, on the other, can be a harrowing project. And yet that is precisely what mature spirituality demands of us. Herein lies our challenge: How to hold onto the dream, how to nourish it and live by its lights, without losing all hope, without concluding that the way the world is, is the way it will always be. Judaism's boldest response to that challenge is, in a word, Shabbat. (5774)