Menachem Bluming Muses: Ever Feel Like Giving UP???

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Amidst this unpredictable, confusing and worrisome Covid crisis, do you ever feel like just saying, “I GIVE UP!” ?

Let’s notice the words: the word UP. Where does that term come from in the colloquialism ‘I give UP’? Grab onto the ray of light inherent in the word UP.

In Hebrew to give up is called “liharim yadaim”, literally to LIFT UP YOUR HANDS.

A further flash of light. Even more uplifting.

Giving UP is indeed the BEST way to go!

Raising hands reminded me of the battle of the Jewish people against the Amalekites described in the portion of Beshalach just after the Jews were redeemed from Egypt (Exodus, 17:11 see Rashi’s commentary)

Joshua did as Moses had told him, to fight against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and their nephew Hur went up to the top of the hill and stood in prayer…

Whenever Moses RAISED HIS HANDS and the people were thereby inspired to submit themselves to G-d, G-d came to their aid and Israel prevailed. But whenever he lowered his hand, and they were not inspired this way, Amalek prevailed.

‘Raising your hands’ in the context of praying to G-d is not a sign of defeat. It is not capitulation to your enemy. Rather it is a submission to the Source of all strength thus availing yourself of the greatest strength possible.

Raising your hands means being mindful that you are truly in G-d’s hands.

Giving UP in its deepest meaning should not be confused with forfeiting and abandoning one’s drive and zest for life.

Giving UP can be very positive. If it is used in the context of submitting to the Almighty!!! The ultimate ‘UP’.

And then, thank G-d, a very positive healing and rebuilding process began.

Covid is a humbling time to truly give UP, to submit to G-d and be carried on His wings. I don’t need to be in any sort of control because He has never left the cockpit. Its G-d’s plane and we are all passengers. The Almighty is in full control.

No. Not to be fatalistic and passive waiting for G-d to do everything for me. I need to put forth my best effort. But I don’t need to be in control, actually I cannot be in control of the results even if I wanted to.

Try it out.

Give UP – place yourself in the caring embrace of the Almighty.

Mendel (Menachem) Bluming, Rabbi Kantor and Rabbi Freeman

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