Return to the Future
“But to return, if I may use the expression, to the future…(J.B.S. Haldane).”
Haven’t we been here before? Have we not experienced Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Succot, many times? Have we not dreamed of a fresh start year after year? How
will this year be different?
“Every man takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world (Arthur Schopenhauer).” I suspect that there is a hint in the imperfect roof of the Succah to Schopenhauer’s point: The open spaces in the S’chach are a reminder that our vision is limited, there are other views, the ones through which we glimpse that stars. Succor is an exercise in seeing God’s vision for us, rather than our own.
Even when the serpent spoke to Eve to convince her to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, he hinted to God’s vision of human potential, “You will be as Powers.” God’s vision of a human being is that of a true Power that can transform creation. Adam had two choices when he first stepped out of the Garden: he could look ahead terrified that he had no idea what to do. He was accustomed to being cared for by God. He could carry the failure of his past on his shoulders, dreading the world outside his protected place, his Succah, the Garden. Or, he could recall God’s first words to him, “Go out and conquer and master the world.” He had been equipped to master the world from his first moment of life.
Adam, unfortunately, began by choosing to focus on what he had lost. He blamed Eve and separated from her. He did not become a builder of the future until more than a hundred years later. He was weighed down by his vision of himself. He forgot God’s opening charge; God’s vision of what he could do.
I look up through the open spaces of my Succah to glimpse the heavens that, in God’s vision, are ours to reach. Hopefully, it will become my vision as well.
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