Saturday, August 30, 2014

#BlogElul Day 4: Accept

"It's Not Fair."

This lament of childhood never really goes away. It informs so much of what we do, with a notion that "fairness" means "equivalence" and "equal treatment" in all situations. At least that's what way say. Of course, what we mean is that we get special treatment (or at least no one else does).

The issue of fairness drills down to the core of our being, especially when we ourselves are suffering. We feel as if the Universe--God--is specifically targeting us with hostility and aggression.

In the prayer unetaneh tokeph, we read that "prayer, repentance and charity ease judgment's severe decree". This is not how it is worded in the rabbinic literature; there, we are told that prayer, repentance and charity cancel the severe decree. But we know that the decree cannot be cancelled. Life isn't fair. But we have resources to help us accept, but also sustain ourselves spiritually. Community, acts of loving kindness, prayer: these may not change our situation. They don't make it more fair. But they help us through, support and sustain us.

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