Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Open My Eyes, to Behold Thy Wonders"

When we become absorbed with the the complexities and intricacies of this world, we often forget at the "wow" of it all. Then one day, maybe there is nothing better on, so I "make do" with a science show, then I gape and gasp and go "No waaaaaay! So cooooool!" for an hour. 

I heard this stupendous shiur on by Esther Wein called "Iyov, Akeidah of the Mind," given on 11/20/14. I must say, if anyone is struggling with anything, this shiur certainly comforted me. She delves into Sefer Iyov, how Hashem responds to his main question: "Why?"

Hashem's response is to tell him, in detail, about the mastery of His creation, how Iyov cannot measure it or comprehend it all. It doesn't seem to be an answer to his pleas to understand his suffering, but it is. So to as Hashem created it all, so to He cares for it all. All is well. 

Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens? Canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth?
"Heavens Breadth 16" by Marsha Charlebois
Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee: 'Here we are'?

Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who hath given understanding to the mind?

Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven, When the dust runneth into a mass, and the clods cleave fast together?

Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lioness? Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?

If one sees the majestic in the everyday currents of life, that can provide the comforting balm of security and trust. 

Robin Rinaldi, in "The Mystery in the Machine," describes her grief as she pines for a child. She fantasized: 
My husband and I gaze at the black screen as the grainy image of a fetus emerges, its head nearly as large as its tiny sea horse body. And then, a thumping sound, echoing like a signal picked up from deep space. My husband looks from the screen to me, and I can see in his eyes that he finally understands what I have instinctively known for years — that all of our ambitions, world travels and spiritual practices never brought us this close to the mystery.  
But it was not to be. She did not have a child, that intellect-defying gift that forces us to realize our place in this vast and unknowable universe. However, her heart began misbehaving, and she went in for an echocardiogram. 
“That looks like a sonogram machine,” I said.
“It is,” she said, smiling. “An echocardiogram is just a sonogram of your heart.”
. . . Then she turned the sound on.
There were clicks, lots of clicks, as if she had pried open a grandfather clock, and also a surge of liquid flowing wildly between pauses. Like water rushing over a falls in gusts.
“Those are your valves,” she said. “They open and close several times with each heartbeat.”
“And that liquid sound is the blood?”
“Yes, blood filling and leaving each ventricle.”
She saw the tears gathering.
“I’m telling you,” she said, putting her free hand on my arm, “I’ve been photographing the human heart for 20 years. It’s made a believer out of me.
“It’s amazing,” I said. “I mean . . . what starts it? What keeps it beating?”
“That’s the million-dollar question,” she said. “But something had to create this.” She snapped another image as my valves clicked open and shut like miraculous little dams.
I think we can be myopic as to the "amazing" there is in our world. There is just so much of it, all over. We just have to make a point to see it.
 . . . I do know one thing: I didn’t need a baby to get me any closer to the mystery. We couldn’t escape the mystery if we tried.  


Daniel Saunders said...

I'm giving a drasha on Iyov in shul shabbat Shabbat week. I would definitely agree the speeches from the whirlwind are about awe rather than answers.

Princess Lea said...

The answer is that Hashem created all this and He cares for it, and He also cares for you. You are one of His wonders, and He cares for each and every one of His creations. You cannot know the actual answers in this world because our puny human minds cannot handle that sort of knowledge, so we must be content to leave it with Him.

Daniel Saunders said...

I think the picture of creation in G-d's speeches is of a powerful and even violent world, much more about Yirat Shamayim than G-d's love, but elu v'elu.

Princess Lea said...

Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem go hand in hand.