rock of our life

the story at the end of this post totally overpowered me. I cried. Especially because lately I've been mulling an idea. There's a reflexologist who comes to treat my father-in-law, and lately he (the reflexologist) hasn't been well. He chalks it up to a 'weakness of the flesh.' Apparently he gives so much of himself during healing that it drains him.

I once spoke to my rav about praying to take on another's suffering, and how I could never and would never do that, about how I'm not strong enough to bear their suffering myself. I made him (my rav) smile though when I told him that I found something else that worked better. If I suffered because of the fact that someone else was suffering, I could pray to God to relieve that person's suffering out of pity for me, that he relieve my own suffering.

I can't help but be troubled by people who think they can just give of themselves in order to solve other people's problems. It's false selflessness. One of the first lessons I remember my rav teaching me is that giving for the sake of giving is not the highest, it's just a juvenile stage on the way to goodness. Receiving for the sake of giving is instead the highest and most refined level. If we realize that we are capable of nothing, and all of our achievements are gifts of God, then all of our actions can be augmented and strengthened even beyond our imagined limits.

When we give of ourselves to heal someone else, it should be making us both stronger. We are revealing more godliness in the world. If, instead, the healing, the giving, is weakening us, it isn't healthy and it's in essence weakening the other person as well, by making them dependent on you, putting their faith in you and not God.

[Now, there's a less popular point in this as well -- both eastern and western healing techniques were designed by those who rely solely on their neshama behemit, their animal soul, because that is what they have and what they know. When you have a neshama elokit, a Godly soul, you have to adapt those techniques to work on an entirely different level.]

[regarding yesterdays post: "throwing glass stones" i need to highlight how much i need to internalize this lesson myself. To give of that which God gives me, rather than of that which I think is mine.. so that the giving is true and it strengthens both myself and the receiver of the gift. This is such an important lesson for me especially before I can become a parent.]

God is the source of [everything, especially] our own strength, there is a specific mitzwah to remember this truth every day.


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