Rabbi Yossi's Blog

Welcome to Rabbi Yossi's Blog; where you can expect to find thoughts on current events, Torah learning and Jewish spirituality. And of course, some good Jewish humor.

Deep sea exploration


The unknown has always fascinated humanity. And much of what we know of the far reaches of the universe is thanks to those brave (others would call them foolhardy) individuals who took risks to uncover the unknown.

The ones who ventured into the wilderness not knowing what was lurking past the mountains; those who were ready to follow their conviction of the nature of the earth in order to discover new routes of travel - only to discover new land. And those who were ready to dive deep into the sea to find what’s lurking miles beneath the surface.

As I’m sure you heard, this week such an expedition ended in a terrible way, the Titan deep sea submersible imploded killing all five people on board.

The question, as always, is why am I hearing about it? Why did I learn about this tragedy? We’re told by the Jewish mystics that everything we see and hear should serve as a guide in our life and the way we serve G-d. What lesson in my Divine service can there possibly be from such a story?

Judaism teaches us that the world as we know it conceals G-dliness, hence the ability for people to deny G-d’s existence - even while the very fact that they are alive is due to G-d causing them to exist. Every breath they take is being caused by G-d, yet with their very G-d given breath, they deny His existence. That’s why this world is referred to by the mystics as the “World of Concealment”.

Interestingly, the parable for this is the sea. While there is an entire teeming ecosystem underwater, when we look out across the ocean all we observe is water. There is no indication of the myriad life forms within until we dive deep and discover what’s beneath the surface.

Our role, our purpose of existence, is to be like deep sea submersibles and reveal the hidden nature of our physical reality - and avoid imploding in the process.

Torah study and mitzvah observance provide the tools we need to successfully navigate this deep sea expedition. But it’s imperative that we maintain perspective in the process of our quest. For this purpose G-d provides us with authentic Jewish leaders who guide us in this sometimes daunting process.

The Rebbe is such a leader. Despite his physical passing 29 years ago (the anniversary of which was yesterday, the 3rd of Tammuz), his guidance, leadership and influence continues to grow and provide the necessary inspiration to avoid (spiritual) implosion.

While many of us aren’t the type to sign up for such risky explorations - at this point we’ve already been “thrown in on the deep end.” We are already living in this spiritually submerged reality, we might as well join the effort to pull back the concealment and live up to the purpose we were thrown into it in the first place.


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