January 18, 2023
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The rain subsided and suddenly, I see buds emerging on my roses. After a cold winter with blustery winds and uncharacteristically frigid California weather, we are all looking for pockets of sunlight. I’m waiting for the roses to bloom.

And yet, I’m reminded of the Jewish value of patience. Not the kind of patience that is needed when we are driving on a packed 405 freeway. The kind of patience that is needed when we’re anxiously waiting to hit milestones. How many of us have worried when our children will start speaking or walking? The kind of patience that is needed when we’re wondering how our professional journeys will unfold. The kind of patience that is required when we’re anxious for a relationship to take its next step. An elusive, desired patience that very few possess. Because this kind of waiting is hard and sometimes, even painful.

Rabbi Yechiel Yitzchok Perr once taught, “You can train yourself to be patient. You can train yourself to open the space between the match and the fuse.” What does it look like to live in the in-between? To look at this realm of unknowing, realizing there may be lessons missed as we’re waiting for something else to take place. The child that isn’t walking may be smiling, waving, hugging, loving. The professional career that isn’t speeding up may offer professional connections or different opportunities. The evolving relationship asks for a living in the present versus a living in what’s to come. Patience is embracing an uncomfortable space, opening one’s heart to a wisdom unexpected.

Those roses will bloom when they are ready. In the meantime, I will wait. Still a little frustrated, still a little eager. But ready to welcome unanticipated beauty and unimagined growth.

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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