The Snow Job

Have you ever felt truly helpless?

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Comments (15)

(15) David, January 18, 2011 7:49 AM

I feel helpless very often when faced with human indifference. That's what I'm having trouble accepting as an Act of God

(14) Anonymous, January 9, 2011 2:17 AM

why are people paralyzed????

I recall 2 different times when blizzards hit Baltimore and the city was paralyzed. Snow Vehicles stuck everywhere. But instead of bemoaning our fate, our entire block of neighbors got out their shovels, their brooms, and whatever else it took, and TOGETHER, UNITED, we cleared our street of snow and freed our stuck vehicles and cleaned our sidewalks and driveways. It took several hours and loads of effort! But we did it! In NY boroughs you have block upon block of apartments. You have a much denser population and many more people than our humble street in Baltimore that are capable of working together in the same way to clear the roads. Imagine if all NY'ers got off their tushes and instead of acting helpless and angry, started working with one another to help one another. The streets would have been cleared! Yeah, it's aggravating to know that one's taxes are not buying services that one is entitled to - but why should that prevent people from taking initiative? New Yorkers may have tough exteriors - but they're a bunch of lazy wusses!

(13) , January 7, 2011 5:27 PM

Loved this blog, or video. I'm glad you spoke on something I struggle with daily. I feel helpless and hopeless with the digital age. The audio feature on my tv and computer gets so low it's almost like a whisper. But I can hear everything else, talking in the hallways of my apt. even. I feel helpless period. No matter what I do, I still end up at square one. I'm just lost in this digital age, and lost period. But I have to remember Hashem. (smile).

(12) Jack Shiffman, January 5, 2011 7:43 AM

In times of calamity, people "pull" together.

I had a similar experience in Chcago during the winter of 1967. A 42 inch snowfall brought the city to its knees. People brought out their snowmobiles, skiis, track vehicles, whatever to bring needed food to the poor who could not afford to keep supplies in their larder. Many treated it as an adventurous experience. It seems that people have to get along when they're " in the same boat".

(11) Grampy, January 5, 2011 4:34 AM

Your Study

I disagree with Matisyahu Bear (Comment #9). A perfectly organized library and study is a sign that nothing gets done there, not even reading. Besides, it looks just fine to us. More importantly, this topic has applications in other areas besides snowstorms. Consider Israelis living in Ashqelon and Sderut. Being helpless and hopeless is paralyzing and can be very detrimental to ones health. Flying in an airplane at 40,000 feet in a storm can have the same effect on one's mental health. To choose such an idiotic response as a few books laying on their side as an appropriate comment adds absolutely nothing of value to this discussion.

(10) Anonymous, January 4, 2011 9:32 PM

we don't feel helpless in Jerusalem/ Israel

the power of emuna is so much stronger here--- and the weather is nicer too (pray for more rain!)

(9) Matisyahu Bear, January 4, 2011 2:47 PM

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

Do my wife a favor - clean that pigsty behind you. Geez, what a mess!

(8) ruth housman, January 4, 2011 2:28 PM

connect those white dots!

Hi, I think this is a marvelous piece for many reasons. Perhaps, one of these, and forget the ego part, please, is that it has personal resonance. I felt, for a long time, before this blizzard that something would happen with the first snows, here where I am, and everywhere, what would blanket the East Coast, as blanket is also for warmth and comfort. Remember the Blizzard of 78? Well those of us who do, remember how we all did bond, just as you describe. I love what you said about the world was created for each one of us, and about how we need personally to "save" the world (my words), in acts of tikkun and love. I also see that the world was made for us, uniquely, as we are as snowflakes, and that each one of our stories is so amazingly tailored to us. Yes, our very own, amazing story. There is a brilliance to this that shines like diamonds in first, fresh snow. As to surrender, I had to surrender to my own story a long time ago, in wanting to badly to share a secret, and in totally, not being heard, for content, as if I never spoke. I realized there is a far greater loving power, who wrote me, and all of us, into a story that will change the world, that is about LOVE itself.

(7) Shelli Weisgurt, January 4, 2011 1:30 PM

Right on, Soloman!

My whole concept of God is wrapped up in his words. Woe to those who believe that man is the be-all and end-all in this world and there is nothing else.

(6) Rena, January 3, 2011 3:51 AM

this New Yorker happily surrenders control to G-d

from a fellow New Yorker........ I have long ago learned (and I'm not so old :)) that I/we don't have any control of the sequence of our lives and what happens to us and it is all in G-d's hands, our control is in the way we act and react to what is thrown our way. To me this is the definition of free will and results in fine character building and defines our quality of life and happiness. We can go to Ivy League schools, do everything by the book, be the best parents etc and not be able to find an appropriate job, have misfortunes happen to us, and G-d forbid have unhappy children etc and vice versa (someone who puts little to no effort seems to have everything). I find comfort in this idea because it means that G-d knows best and I can stop worrying because I actually don't control the world. Should something undesireable happen (again G-d forbid we should be tested) it is time to evaluate His message and grow from it and again vice versa when the good things happen we should grow from that as well. It is those of us who think we have control who are constantly dissappointed, angry, dissatisfied, begrudging, jealous the list goes on and none of it is good. Thank you G-d for taking the awesome responsibility of control :) disclaimer: I very much beieve that we have to put every effort in to achieve our goals - this falls under the action/reaction category of excersizing our free will

(5) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 11:47 PM


You are like a trusted friend and I look forward to your videos and love hearing you talk. The messages always lift me up. It encourages me to face the challenges of life with faith and courage.

(4) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 11:41 PM

Helpless but not hopeless

I felt helpless as a child when my home life was in turmoil, with two troubled parents heading for divorce (post-sixties; don't ask . . .) And helpless in the face of various physical ailments and occasional childhood depressions. And helpless when I was taunted by peers at school (even at Yeshivah) for my quirky, bookish ways. (It's funny that the theme of Asperger's syndrome seems to be going around the site just now, as I may have it, too.) And helpless when my husband was abusive and a heavy drinker, and I still had health problems, and our son needed lots of special attention because he has autism. But somehow never hopeless. I always felt a spark inside of me that said "there will be a solution; just hold on until you can get out of here, and meanwhile learn what you can where you are." Even during the years I called myself an atheist I felt this. Now I know. Hashem put me in those places for a reason, to learn and then to help others. Things are much better now; though I and my life are of course still works in progress, I am in healthier surroundings and much stronger. I now more often feel helpful rather than helpless. I think I read in a Mussar work that "problems are not _in_ the way; they _are_ the way."

(3) rachel, January 2, 2011 9:31 PM

helpless not hopeless

I felt helpless when a few years ago my youngest son of 5 went into a semi-coma. We thought he got flu but within two days other strange symptoms appeared. He was suffering from excess fluid in his brain and there was nothing in the world that I as a mother could do for him. Most childhood health issues can be attended to by the mother, with kisses,plasters,food,paracetamol, antibiotics if Dr advises. But then , the most I could do was take him to hospital and pray that G-d will guide the doctors to save his life. His life was in G-d's hands and not mine. Thank G-d my son is alive today and we hope G=d will keep him alive for many more years.

(2) SusanE, January 2, 2011 7:24 PM

Helpless but Not Hopeless.

Yes, Rabbi I've felt helpless twice in my life. Once for several years as a child and no one would help me. Once a few years ago for about a month, when I couldn't take care of myself. I was so afraid. But I knew it wasn't hopeless and I fought to find a way, and things got better. I hope being helpless never comes back... it is awful. I've never been helpless in 2 feet of snow. Thank G-d I can shovel and Thank G-d I have a pantry and Thank G-d for my pair of good boots, I can walk.

(1) Anonymous, January 2, 2011 2:51 PM

challenges vs. hopelessness

Since I have Asperger syndrome, I often feel that it is hopeless for me to find my bashert, where the front reason being is that she is Jewish. I've been criticized for thinking too narrowly and holding out too much for the right Jewish woman to come along. And, I don't think I am really getting any help from my family, friends, social networks, online dating and matchmaking websites including Jdate and, where I'm told that I am on my own to find her...As for the snow, that can be the least of my worries since I can always still indoors while it is nice and cozy, and when I do have to shovel out the snow on the driveways, walkways, and clearing the fire hydrant that does give me something to do, where I can get paid for doing it by my family and neighbors.


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