Have You Questioned Your Faith Lately?
Posted on 01/25/2013 @ 07:11 PM
Twenty-one years ago this weekend, I had the pleasure of celebrating my Bat Mitzvah on Shabbat Shira (“Shabbat of song”), when we are taken back to the moment when B’nei Yisrael were challenged with trusting G-d to lead them through the Red Sea as the Egyptians advanced. The parsha contains Shirat Hayam (“song of the sea”), in which B’nei Yisrael give thanks and recognition to G-d for G-d’s role in saving their lives. This song is included every day in Shacharit (morning services), and as a result, I have a regular reminder of the gravity of my Bat Mitzvah and the words I chanted that day.
I remember that on that day, I chose to accept my own personal struggle. Do I have trust in G-d? Will I allow G-d to challenge me in life? How do I understand the role Judaism plays in my life? Every time I hear Shirat Hayam I am reminded of this. It’s not enough for me to know that B’nei Yisrael accepted their challenge - I have to be open to my own as well. As the years pass, my understanding of that personal challenge changes. The things I grapple with now are very different from those when I was a teenager, but what remains constant is my openness to the struggle. If I do not continually ask myself the tough questions about my faith, where does that leave me? Where would that leave each of you?
One of the most defining aspects of Judaism is that we are encouraged to constantly challenge ourselves, our practices, and our faith. What are the moments in your life that allow you to face this in yourself? When do you challenge your beliefs, or question your practices? Take pride in your willingness to question and change – without change we become stagnant and our beliefs can lose their meaning. This Shabbat, in honor of the Israelites’ challenge, think about your own beliefs and challenge yourself to regularly recommit yourself to the things you believe in.
This Shabbat Message was brought to you by Aleeza Lubin, Director of Jewish Enrichment for the Midwest Hub