When I first sent out an email about our
Shul closing, I wrote —
current plan is to reopen Wednesday, April 1st for Shacharis at
That would be tomorrow.
How much wishful thinking and naivety that
The painful reality is that as of now, it
does seem that our Shul will be closed over Passover.
But this time I will not even attempt to
offer a date that we will reopen.
For a good reason. A reason that has a
message of hope.
Sadly, many students this year will be
missing important graduation ceremonies. But I hope that parents and friends
will not forget to give them a sacred graduation gift tradition —
A copy of Dr. Sueuss’ classic
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose . . .”
Except, sometimes we get stuck in —
“The Waiting Place…
… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting . . .”
That is where we are today.
The Waiting Place.
But as Jews we know how to wait, wait with trust and hope, confident in the
One, the only One, who ultimately controls the destiny of the world and every
individual in it.
The Torah tells us about the journeys of the Jewish people in the desert
“It also happened sometimes that the cloud
remained only from evening until morning, . . . and they journeyed forth; or it
remained for a day and a night . . . and they journeyed forth. Or it remained
two days or a month or a year . . .At the behest of God did they camp, and
at the behest of God did they journey forth; they kept God’s charge”
On this the great Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote —
“This is is the teaching of the journey through the
wilderness, from which we learned for all time to follow God’s guidance with
devotion no matter how incomprehensible it may seem to us . . .He requires of
us to remain steadfast in an undesirable situation: nevertheless,
we accept and fulfill with joy whatever He commands us
For beneath the shepherd’s staff of His
guidance, we will always be happy, and it is our faithfulness and obedience to God
that bring us happiness . . . along mysterious paths; to wait and
long for Him patiently, or to follow Him boldly — all according to the
direction of His guidance.”
So, we just don’t know. A day? Two? A Month? Please God, I hope very soon.
But hang in there — this too shall pass . . .
all that waiting and
You’ll find the bright
where Boom Bands are
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride
Ready for anything under
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!”
Hang in there — you’re that kind of a guy.
May all the pain end, and the day of riding high come very, very
With deep pain for the suffering and deep hope for our future,
Rabbi Yitzchok Oratz
Rabbi Yitzchok Oratz is the Rabbi and Director of the Monmouth Torah Links community. Shortly after receiving his semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Bais Medrash Govoha, the famed Lakewood Yeshiva, Rabbi Oratz, along with his wife Toby and family, moved to Marlboro, NJ where they co-founded the MTL community in 2001. Aside for his “Devar on the Par” that he writes for MTL, his writings have also been published on Aish, Times of Israel, Seforim Blog, Hakira, and in various Rabbinic journals. Rabbi Oratz looks forward to continuing teaching Torah in a way that is timely and timeless, and sharing meaningful Jewish experiences with the amazing MTL community.