and I, “etc., etc., and so forth”.
Now that I’ve depressed you, let’s turn our viewpoint on its head.
Did you awaken this morning? That’s a start! You have a new day to fill with memories of your choice.
Did you open your eyes and look around? How joyous to see all the colors of the world, the designs of nature and of
Was there a roof over your head when you opened your eyes? Then you are not on the streets by choice or necessity.
Were you awakened by an alarm clock, ringing phone or other sounds? Then you can hear. Lucky you! Listen to the wind, the birds, the voices of animals and people that share your world.
Did a voice awaken you or greet you during the day? Then you have companionship in your life. Even though someone is not constantly by your side, you don’t walk through the world alone.
Were you able to wash your hands, face, body today? Then you have access to water, probably modern plumbing – for others these are miracles.
Did you have to choose which clothes to wear? Then, in addition to having clothes, you have the ability to make decisions. You have the freedom to be independent in thought and in deed.
There are blessings we recite for all these and more; blessings for everyday activities. When we bless a mundane event, we elevate it to a higher level. In that way, our normal activities become reminders of how lucky we are, how grateful we can be.
The holiday of Purim celebrates the release of the Jews from physical destruction. When we are free from the threat of physical destruction, we can turn to emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs.
The holiday of Pesach celebrates the release of the Jews from physical suppression and from spiritual destruction. They became a free people able to rejoice in each day, able to recognize the designs of God, nature and man, able to listen to the trembling mountain at Sinai, able to walk together toward a future, able to gather manna, able to choose to follow the path to freedom or return to slavery.
Does this mean you don’t have the right to complain or be discontent? Of course, not. There are many who are truly in need. On the other hand, if we can learn to celebrate freedom of body, mind and/or spirit every day, life will become more joyous.
As we enter the month of joy (Adar) followed by the month of redemption, the time of freedom (Nissan), I wish you beautiful, healthy holidays. Days of delight.