Some days, I kind of feel a little smashed up.

Like I got dropped on a hard floor – repeatedly.

Sometimes, this life is hard.

We are at the end of such a long process of exile, and our souls have stuffed things up so many times already, and there is so little ‘wholeness’ and ‘completeness’ in the world, and so many tikkunim to go through…well.

It’s like Rabbenu said:

“They have broken us, like a broken potsherd.”

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How to put those pieces back together?

Is it even possible, to put their pieces back together?

Pieces that got broken over the last 5781 years of history, and that are still chasing their shleimut… endlessly.

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These were my thoughts, when a friend called me and told me about kintsugi pottery.

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Kintsugi is a Japanese art-form, where broken pottery is kind of stuck back together with gold and silver.

It’s beautiful.

Way more beautiful than the original, unbroken, pottery ever could have been.

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We are living in the time of the second set of luchot.

The first set got smashed by Moshe Rabbenu.

And ever since, we’ve been living in a reality where it’s the second – and third, and fourth, and 85th – attempt is the one that really sticks, the one that is really ‘meant to be’, the one that really gets there, somehow.

Modern life can be so very hard, emotionally, because we all put so much effort in to so many things – and somehow, so often, it just gets smashed to pieces.

What, I’m going to start again?

I’m going to try again?

Who has the energy, who has the koach to keep going, when so much just ends up being smashed apart again?

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That applies to relationships.

It applies to our teshuva process.

Sometimes, it applies to our finances, our careers, the gashmius foundation of our lives.

Sometimes – the darkest times – it applies to our faith and emuna.

And even Rabbenu experienced this.

“They have broken us, like a broken potsherd.”

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At those times, it’s hard to imagine that what was ‘broken’ can ever be whole and useful again.

I’m in pieces on the floor, here.

I can’t even get out of bed in the morning, how do you want me to turn this relationship around, turn my life around, turn my teshuva process around?!

How do you want me to fix the world, God, when I am so broken myself?

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The answer is to just bring our broken pieces to the True Tzaddik, and let him get on with the job of putting us back together.

With the ‘gold’ of appropriate judgment, and the ‘silver’ of appropriate compassion.

Sometimes, it’s a long, drawn-out, painstaking process.

So many shards to deal with, so many sparks of previous lives that need gathering up, and replacing in the correct spot.

The work requires a lot of patience.

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But at the end, if we don’t give up and walk away, the vessel is finally made ‘whole’ again.

And is far more beautiful than before it got all smashed up.

As long as we don’t give up in the middle.

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3 replies
  1. Inna
    Inna says:

    As I was driving my daughter to school today , we listened to the song by Leonard Cohn. And I thought this is almost exactly matching the point of this post:
    “There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in”

    Reply

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