Broken souls need fixing
By Harav Y. Reuven Rubin Shlita
Dolls’ hospitals are just that: hospitals for broken dolls. Now you may not consider that this is a singularly important fixture in any city centre, but then again, if you’re like me, you probably just don’t understand dolls in the first place. There is one very basic fact you should know about a doll’s hospital and that is that every doll in it is broken. If that weren’t the case, they wouldn’t be there. The hospital patches up their broken limbs and probably glues heads and bodies together with great alacrity.
Why, you may ask, am I explaining the mechanics of dolls’ hospitals in these precious moments before Rosh Hashonoh, the most auspicious moment of the year? Well, I have chosen to open with this subject to draw an example we all can use in the critical days that lie ahead. Simply put, just as those dolls in the so called hospital are broken, so it is with every human you will ever meet.
“It is very difficult for our young to experience true spirituality; their neshomas are covered with a hard layer that prevents the spark of holiness shining through”
We, each and every one of us, are broken and this material world is the hospital Hashem has sent us in which to recover. The world was created with a need to be fixed; it is Hashem’s plan. Our neshomas have been sent here for the purpose of repairing the world and at the same time to help us find our own tikun, our own completion. This vital understanding can answer much of what is difficult to fathom when it comes to human relations. Have you ever sat with a group of friends and tried to fix the whole world? Sure you have; we are Yidden and we do this all the time. Let’s take a small case in point: when a family is stricken with a child who seems to have strayed from the path of Torah life. Everyone will offer opinions: one will say the family is dysfunctional, another will blame the school, yet others will claim that it must have been the fault of friends. The list of reasons is endless, but any discerning soul will know that there is no one reason that can cause this or any situation. The singular point that is rarely mentioned is that the child is broken; we need to figure out how to fix him. All the dynamics that one can mention only add up to this one truth: we are all broken, no-one is perfect. Having said that, one may ask: what in fact is “normal”? Walk down any street and you may encounter tens of people who are, guess what, also broken! The default position in life is being splintered. Otherwise, you would not be here in the first place. We are all born with the requirement to correct something within ourselves. It is the Divine opportunity Hashem has graciously bestowed. There are things in each of us that only we as individuals can fix, it’s what we are here for. In Gan Eden there are no challenges. Angels have no choices; everything in that garden dwells in celestial perfection. Hashem wants us to have the opportunity to grow through the challenges of life, and that is why each of us has been placed here. Our tikun is unique to our time and place. Our being here now is not a coincidence in any way.
Rosh Hashonoh says as much. Rosh means “head”, and the task of correction starts within the head, the seat of our thoughts and drives. If we accept that we are bound up with each other in that we are each in need of something, we can develop true empathy and understanding for others without the tendency to be judgmental. In this manner we will feel a sense of healing within ourselves because of the merit we earn for such compassion for others.
Our lives are extremely complicated; these are the days before the Moshiach and we are facing challenges never experienced before. Guta Yidden explain that we are the feet of the generations that came before us; we carry the weight of all that preceded us and as such our heels are calloused and hardened. This may explain why it is very difficult for our young to experience true spirituality; their neshomas are covered with a hard layer that prevents the spark of holiness shining through.
Let us strive during these unique days to open up our own hearts and offer our young a sense of healing that we can give through unconditional love. Recognizing that others are as broken as we are, then the Rosh should bring a Shonoh of blessing.This is the key to the beginning of the year, may it bring each of us a kesiva vechasima tova.