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Thinking Zion

Thursday, 23 July, 2009 - 4:43 pm

Did you ever have a moment of mental and emotional clarity, when you understood your very reason for being?

Have you ever sat and contemplated: “Why am I here?” and actually had an answer?

A sense of purpose, a reason for being, is crucial – actually indispensable – for living a life of meaning. When we have a raison d’etre, life’s details fall into place and sanity begins to reign. Because life is no longer about you and your desires; it’s about your objective and purpose.

When we consciously accept a reason for our existence, it relieves us of a great – if sub-conscious – burden. There’s no need to struggle to make sense of our lives; we can relax our need to find direction, and allow destiny to express itself through our daily choices.

We are accepting that we – you and I individually - are each expressions of a higher purpose. And that’s a liberating and inspiring place to be.

That’s why we’re called ‘Zion’, which Scripturally refers to Jerusalem, Israel or us as a people. In spiritual writings, Zion refers to the soul’s fundamental identity.

In Hebrew, ‘Zion’ means a ‘sign’ or a ‘symbol’.

The dictionary defines a ‘sign’ as “any object, action, etc., that conveys a meaning.”

So, at our deepest identity, we are Zion - a ‘sign’. We are each a functionary in the world, whom G-d created to ‘convey meaning”.

How do I identify the meaning which G-d created me to convey?

I look at G-d’s ‘Manufacturer’s Manual’, G-d’s Torah.

The Torah describes humanity’s highest potential. Through understanding that, I can find what ‘message’ and meaning I need to bring to the world.

I can clarify my ‘signage’.

Next Thursday, we’ll observe the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha b’Av. In preparation, synagogues around the world will read “Isaiah’s Vision” on this coming Shabbat (as the Haftorah), vision which predicts the tragedies we bring upon ourselves through unfocused, selfish living.

But at the end of the reading, Isaiah gives us an antidote: “Zion will be redeemed through the Law (Torah) and its captives through Righteousness” – we will ‘redeem’ ourselves, bringing our best selves into the open, when we recognize our own ‘Zion’ identity, our existence as a Divine sign in the world.

How? Through our embrace of G-d’s Program for Life and a subsequent life of Justice.

The journey of life isn’t about creating meaning; it’s about finding what’s already there.

It’s in your soul, even if it’s sometimes muffled beneath life’s chaos.

Time for Redemption.

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