Please indulge me as I share news from my family…
I’ve been away this past week. Together with Tobi, we were in New York for the birth of a granddaughter. It’s been thrilling! I could try to put into words the depth of feeling, joy, love, hope and excitement, but it is beyond expression.
For me, there is not only a new life, representing all our hopes for the future of our family, our people and humanity; but it also was a moment where I felt the presence of my parents and all the grandparents and generations of the past.
On Sunday, my son Avi and daughter-in-law Heather, will formally initiate their daughter into the covenant of our people, where she will receive her Hebrew name (I’ll share her name next week!). At a Simchat Bat, we will gather with friends and family members, celebrating birth and life and a new member of our people.
I am watching Heather and Avi as new parents, witnessing their love for each other and their newborn, and my heart is full. I’m watching Aunt Gabrielle and Uncle Seth making food and doing ANYTHING to help. And I’m hearing the calls from grandmothers and family and friends increasing all the love. (Your rabbi is doing his best shopping, cooking and cleaning and trying to stay out of the way -not always so successfully – but has never felt better!) Uncle Noah has been in Boston celebrating his fiancé Sara’s bridal shower and is continually checking in. We are richly blessed and full of gratitude to God and life itself.
A bit of Torah: Moses, in this week’s Parsha, sent twelve scouts to spy out the land. Ten returned dejected and demoralized.” We cannot possibly enter the Land. The inhabitants are bigger and stronger than us.” Two scouts, Joshua and Caleb, return and report very differently. They all saw the same things, the same people. So what was the difference?
We learn that it had to do with the way they perceived themselves and the faith they had in their ability, their hope in the future, and their trust in God.
My kids now enter a new future… led by a new little girl, equipped with love that gives confidence in themselves, and full of faith in their future and God.
Oh how grateful I feel as I enter this Shabbat!
Rabbi David Steinhardt