I was an X-ray away from having my right hand in a cast.
Thankfully, it was just pulled tendons and I had to rest it for a few days.
No driving. No typing. No brushing my teeth properly, washing the dishes or any of the other daily activities I take for granted.
Do we realize how much we need something while we have it… or while we don't?
My injury occurred during the Three Weeks, the saddest period of the Jewish Year, in which we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and all it represents.
And I recalled the famous verse, "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget [its skill]." (Psalms, 137:5)
I'd never really thought about it before, but what does "let my right hand forget [its skill]" mean?
I saw a number of interesting explanations.
No one can imagine functioning without a right hand, and it is inconceivable we could forget it. It is equally impossible for us to forget Jerusalem, a concept inextricably attached to who we are as Jews.
Indeed, for the Jew to forget Jerusalem is tantamount to forgetting God, for God is always at our right hand -- "I have always set God before me; I shall not falter because He is at my right hand." (Psalms, 16:8)
Another explanation is that God is saying this to the Jewish people, i.e. He vows never to permanently forsake Jerusalem. For Him to do so would be equivalent to a human being giving up his right hand.
The Jewish people are God's right-hand man.
Jerusalem is the Jew's right hand.
There is a natural, innate connection.
Yes, people do make do with one hand or the loss of other limbs, but it is not the ideal.
And yes, Jews are living in physical and spiritual abundance today without the Holy Temple in a rebuilt Jerusalem.
But it is not the ideal. It is not natural.
My right hand shakes a client's hand… Moves the words on this page… Raises my cup to drink…
When we realize Jerusalem can also shake us, move us and raise us even higher than we are now, chances are we could merit a return to the Holy Temple speedily in our days.
For the speedy recovery of Miriam bas Leah, my dear mother-in-law, who broke her right hand two weeks ago!