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Shevat 28

Until now Your compassion has helped us, and Your kindness has not forsaken us, and so, God, never abandon us (Siddur).

At a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, a man who was sober for several years stated, "I wish that I could tell you that since I have been sober everything has gone my way, but it has not. My wife has recently served me with divorce papers, I have lost my job, my car has been repossessed, and my house is up for sheriff's sale. But I am certain that God did not see me through so many ordeals only to walk out on me now."

I then realized that although I had recited the words of the above prayer many times, I had not grasped their full meaning. At moments of great distress and anguish, we may become bewildered and even lose hope. How foolish for us to think that after all that God has done to sustain us, He would now forsake us!

Perhaps the problem stems from our not realizing that God has sustained us until now. In the Amidah, we express our gratitude "for Your miracles that are with us every day." Still, we tend to take many things for granted as though they are natural phenomena rather than Divine miracles and we fail to see the protective and guiding hand of God, every day of our lives. A true faith and realization of God's watchfulness over us would reassure us that just as He has not abandoned us in the past, which is attested to by our very existence, He will not abandon us in the future.

Today I shall...

try to realize that God has looked after me in the past, and when things happen that cause me to have fear, I will find security in the knowledge that God will not forsake me in the future.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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