Secret to a Successul Year
Have you ever asked yourself why you fast? Why you go to the synagogue on Yom Kippur? Why you wear white? Why you ask for the forgiveness of a friend you have wronged? To be honest with ourselves, the reason is that on Yom Kippur we all want to be “not guilty” at least in something.
Those who are well-off even compete as to the sum they pay for the right to read the Book of Jonah in public, a well known merit for wealth and success in business in the following year. But do they understand what they pay for?
Jonah’s story begins with a mission that he receives from God to warn the people of Nineveh that they should repent and change the unfounded hatred they feel towards one another to brotherly love. Today, the nation of Israel also has a mission, just like Jonah, that we cannot run away from. It is the same mission we have had since the days of Babylon, since the time Abraham united us on the basis of love of others, so that our unity will be an example for the whole world. Fulfilling this role is our right to exist.
We have experienced how this law of nature operates throughout history: when we are united, we prosper and the world prospers too. When we fall to unfounded hatred we suffer from blows and the world deteriorates. We have failed to establish the connection between us to such an extent that we don’t believe we can ever establish good relations among us. We are filled with aversion when we hear about our mission of being Light unto the nations. We have forgotten our mission and when we escape from it, the storm comes.
Jonah runs away from his mission and escapes to a ship sailing overseas. His escape causes a storm, and the sailors understand that the reason for their suffering is the Jew who is on board their ship. It doesn’t take long before they throw him overboard.
In the modern global world, the nations of the world also blame us for every crisis there is. The fate of the Israeli nation is inevitable. The sailors in the story change each time but our fate is the same. If we don’t wake up and agree to fulfill our mission, the time will come and we will be thrown into the sea.
Jonah is thrown to the bottom of the sea and is swallowed by a whale. When he completes his soul searching he agrees to fulfill the mission he has been given and only then does the fish brings him to a safe shore, to Nineveh.
Just like Jonah, we too carry the method for connection. This national gene binds us into one nation and we cannot escape it. When we connect, we will set an example of unity for all the other nations. The only question is whether we will fulfill the responsibility that we have or whether, God forbid, we will be thrown into the depths of the sea so that we will agree to fulfill our role.
Light Unto the Nations
Our role is to turn the unfounded hatred we feel into love of one another. But instead of being Light unto the nations ,we do everything in our power to be like all the other nations. The steamroller of evolution, however, is making more and more people and countries feel subconsciously that the Jews are responsible for all the impending troubles, so the nations of the world will not change their attitude towards us for the better unless we fulfill our obligation.
Yom Kippur, which is a time of deep soul searching, is an opportunity to accept our mission and to decide to connect and become the Light unto the nations. Only then will the global turmoil around us calm down and all of humanity will reach peace and quiet and a Sukkah of peace will be spread over all of us.
A happy new year and may you all be signed and sealed in the book of life.
From Dr. Laitman’s Column in Ynet 9/18/15