I just visited a good friend in San Francisco.
What a beautiful city!
Among the amazing places we visited?
You may have heard of it.
It’s an isolated canyon where ancient redwood trees grow.
You walk through it surrounded by giant trees as much as 260 feet tall.
And as much as a thousand years old!
It’s breathtaking. Awe inspiring. Uplifting.
And at the same time…
Suddenly, you don’t feel like such a big shot!
… I decided it was a great time to “daven.”
To say the afternoon prayers.
So I walked over to this huge tree, put my hand on it and started.
It was one of my best prayers in a long time!
… After praying, I started thinking.
About what this tree might say if it could speak.
It could go something like this.
“Wow! Did you hear what that guy said?
“The G-d of Abraham. G-d of Isaac. And the G-d of Jacob.”
“Jews have been beginning their prayers like that for around 2500 years!
And where do those words come from?
They’re in the Torah.
Over three thousand years old!
They call me an old tree?
This guy makes me feel like I was born yesterday!”
… It’s true about so many Jewish rituals.
If we say Kiddush (blessing over wine) Friday night at our Shabbat meal?
The words are 3000 years old!
A Mezuzah on our door?
It has the Shma inside. The Jewish declaration of faith.
3000 years old!
… And if we’re into Tikun Olam? Making the world a better place?
We have seen that as the mission of the Jewish People for…
You guessed it…
And there’s another difference between us and those ancient tress.
They didn’t survive a thousand years of people trying to chop them down.
But we Jews?
Have survived all the mighty empires that tried to destroy us!
… So as I stood dwarfed by that amazingly tall tree?
I thought about the miracle of the Jewish People.
About the privilege of being part of that miracle.
And I stood a lot taller!
All the best,