January 4, 2023
Image by huoadg5888 from Pixabay

There was a smile on the face of discerning congregants at shul while Cantor Feldman sang, “Mashiv HaRuach U’Morid HaGashem.” The words translate as, “the one who causes the wind to blow, and the rain to fall.” The Cantor recites these words during the Amidah, praying for wind and rain to come in its proper season. We smiled, because, well, this time, the prayer worked. Really well.

Buckets of rain have drenched California. It is odd for children in Los Angeles to leave the house with rainboots and jackets for days in a row. My kids are begging to drive to school…and we live across the street. And with such dreary weather, it can feel easy to sink into a state of lament instead of choosing to hold onto the excitement of a brand-new year.

But we must. Instead of focusing on flooded streets, we can choose to focus on areas of growth. If you take the time to look, luscious greenery has replaced the once dry, arid hillsides. Buds are beginning to form on prickly bushes. Creation is in process.

In our personal worlds, floods receive more attention than flowering roses. It makes sense. When you feel as if you are drowning, how do you possibly have mental or emotional space to appreciate the expanding world? Yet, eventually, rain dissipates. And often, hiding within the clouds is the glimmer of a rainbow…the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

Let us pray for rain…and the growth that ensues.

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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