The Plan: Dreaming
“There is a certain dull uniformity in human destiny. The course of our lives follows ancient and immutable laws, with an ancient, changeless rhythm. Dreams never come true, and the instant they are shattered, we realize how the greatest joys of our life lie beyond the realm of reality. The instant they are shattered we are sick with longing for the days when they flamed within us. Out fate spends itself in this succession of hope and nostalgia.
“My husband died in Regina Coeli prison in Rome a few months after we left the village. When I confront the horror of his solitary death, of the anguished choices that preceded his death, I have to wonder if this really happened to us, we who bought oranges at Giro’s and went walking in the snow. I had faith then in a simple, happy future, rich with fulfilled desires, with shared experiences and ventures. But that was the best time of my life, and only now, that it’s gone forever, do I know it.” 1944
(“winter in the abruzzi” by Natalia Ginzburg, A Place To Live”, translated by Lynne Sharon Schwartz)
A brilliant woman devastated by WWII and the Holocaust still speaks of the magic of dreaming.
I read her words and wonder whether they describe the feelings of the Children of Israel in Egypt, in middle of the plagues, no longer working, no longer living in constant fear, but at loss dreaming about the future:
I can hear these people saying inside their homes, in the Cairo Starbucks sharing a coffee with old friends, “The course of our lives follows ancient and immutable laws, with an ancient, changeless rhythm.”
I listen in and hear them whisper, “We were on top of the world when Yosef was in charge and look what happened to us! Do you really think things will change?”
Listen in with me and you will hear, “Dreams never come true, and the instant they are shattered, we realize how the greatest joys of our life lie beyond the realm of reality. The instant they are shattered we are sick with longing for the days when they flamed within us. Out fate spends itself in this succession of hope and nostalgia.”
So, what is the first thing God wants of them?
To dream of the day when they will have wonderful stories to share with future generations!
“God said to Moshe, “Go in to Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart and [also] the hearts of his servants, so that I will be able to set [perform] these [miraculous] signs in their midst.
And so that you may relate in the ears of [before] your son and grandson how I made a mockery of the Egyptians [the miracles that I performed in Egypt], and the miraculous signs I performed among them. You will then know that I am God (Exodus 10:1-2 – sefaria.org).”
When you dream of the stories you will share with future generations, when you dream of future generations being interested in your stories, when you dream of future generations, “You will know that I am God!”
Your first step into the future is to dream of the future.