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Finding Strength in Challenging Times - Noach

Have you ever found yourself struggling to sleep, tossing, and turning while battling with your racing thoughts? Well, last week, I experienced that feeling. I can almost hear some of you saying, "Is there a week you actually get sleep?" To that, I'd say my sleeplessness wasn't due to the usual suspects - school, work, or even late-night writing. My stress, anxiety, and worry were entirely from a whole different thing. I think the reason why I couldn’t calm down was because it wasn't about worries or concerns to do with my personal life but rather the fear I felt for my brothers and sisters across the globe who are facing unimaginable challenges. If it was me, that is one thing, but these last few days were comparable to standing on a shore, watching a storm approach, and being powerless to stop it.

During this past Shabbos, I went to shul, determined to contribute something to the safety of our global family. As I walked, the whirlwind of thoughts continued to swirl within me. It suddenly struck me that this upcoming Shabbos is Parshas Noach, when the Lubavitcher Rebbe delivered one of my all-time favorite Chassidic discourses – "Mayim Rabim." I often turn to this discourse and its lessons in moments like these. "Mayim Rabim" begins with the profound statement, "The abundant (mighty) waters cannot extinguish the love, nor can the rivers wash it away." Without delving into a lengthy summary, it speaks to the love and connection that one holds for Hashem. No matter how fierce the waters of anxiety may become, our love for Hashem cannot be extinguished.

I find it appropriate to share that we see an example of fighting against the waters of anxiety in the story of Noach. When Hashem instructed Noach to build the ark and gather the animals, he, too, overcame ridicule and challenges by following the commandment without hesitation. His unwavering dedication to Hashem, even in the face of opposition, taught me a lesson about resilience, which inspired me to continue walking to shul and stay the entire time.

In the face of challenges, we must stand firm in our beliefs, no matter how tough it gets. Life can test and exploit our vulnerabilities, but we must not back down. Let's acknowledge that this journey won't be easy, and that's precisely what makes it worthwhile. The path to real growth is often filled with obstacles. However, every small act can make a difference. As we work on our personal development, and strengthen our connection with our true selves. Let's use our individual efforts to unite and make this world a better place. May our combined efforts lead to the ultimate redemption and immediate reunion with our loved ones!

Good Shabbos

All the best

Avroham Y Ross

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