A Bisl Torah – A Little Bit of Both

July 28, 2022

Another summer beach day. Sitting on the shore, I noticed two different kinds of people.

First type: Those completely immersed in the waves. Running, splashing, surfing, jumping, laughing. Totally indifferent towards the plummeting temperature of the ocean. The risk takers, the thrill seekers. Craving only that which the ocean provides: a never-ending rollercoaster, up and down, down and up, a continuous ride on God’s picturesque creation.

Second type: those perfectly happy to stay on the sand. Picking up and examining shells, one by one. Reading novels as the sun warms your neck. Settling in for a nap, the rest of the world feeling very far away. The observers and the collectors. Craving only that which the sand provides: a respite from life as one watches the horizon, admiring God’s picturesque creation.

At various points in our lifetimes, are we not one or the other? Some of us are lucky to be embedded with both: the ability to walk through doors that require a bit of chutzpah and the grace that accompanies an awareness of the beauty that surrounds. To have both is rare. But what an incredible prayer to work towards…to live with initiative and to live with appreciation.

The Hebrew phrase for courage is ometz lev. Strength of heart. When we walk towards a life seeking opportunity and also, acknowledge the wonders of the world, our heart grows stronger. We garner the courage to both experience possibility and experience awe.

A prayer for Shabbat: May we renew and refine our ometz lev, our strength of heart. A heart that is strong enough to fly and strong enough to feel grounded.

To be a wave-rider and shell collector. To be a little bit of both.


Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Nicole Guzik is a rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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