Cause my eyes to open, that I may see Wonders out of your Torah.
Inspiration by Tirza Arad
Fifty four years ago today, on Lag Ba’Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer), my husband Michael and I stood under the Chuppah on a grassy section in Kibbutz Ma’ayan Zvi and pledged our love and commitment to each other. “How did you do it?” people have asked over the years and mostly my answer has flippantly been: ”You take it one day at a time!” I was not aware that the many times I gave that answer, and now looking back, how much of it was true.
We started out as many couples do, euphoric during the honeymoon phase and then slowly noticing the inevitable flaws in each other, while mostly ignoring our own. I was full of hope of changing my partner’s character traits that were less attractive to me while being totally oblivious to the fact that he was thinking the same. We were two colliding worlds with each one of us wanting the other to join ours. Lag Ba’Omer was to become our destiny and our revelation. Instead of staying restricted to our own world, we knew we had to learn about each other’s if we at all wanted to have a chance to make it as a couple.
In Jewish numerology, if we flip the Lamed Gimmel of Lag (ba’Omer), it becomes GaL. GaL is the Hebrew root for “Reveal” and “Revelation” and believe it or not also the Hebrew root word of “Redemption.” We can only reveal things about each other and God’s presence in the world if we are willing to open our eyes and see.
There are many examples in the Torah that show us how important it is to open our eyes and see God’s presence in the world. One of the more known ones is Moses stopping to look at the burning bush and paying enough attention to see that it burns, but is not consumed.
The truth is that if we do not make an effort to “see”, nothing is revealed. If we do not make an effort to “see” the other, it will prevent us from creating a meaningful relationship between two separate beings. We are encouraged to uncover, layer by layer, the wisdom of our Torah as we are encouraged to uncover and “get to know” layer by layer our partner in life. The more curious we are, the more we learn about each other, little by little, day by day, until we get to the moment when we finally feel our worlds meshed, each one of us unique but with an ever growing and deep understanding of the other.
Open my eyes, so I may continue to see the wonders of your Torah and the Torah of our life together and may we continue to learn about each other day by day.
* Lag BaOmer, the 33rd day of the Omer count—this year, May 12, 2020—is a festive day on the Jewish calendar. It is celebrated with outings (on which children traditionally play with bows and arrows), bonfires, parades and other joyous events. Many visit the resting place (in Meron, northern Israel) of the great sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the anniversary of whose passing is on this day. While Jews all over the world cannot celebrate in the usual fashion, let it be a day of celebration nonetheless!