During this glorious summer of sunny days, we perceive again the glory and the complexity and the illumination of our life on this planet. And during the too sunny days, days on end without the blessing of “rain in its season” (Lev 26:4 and others) we are aware of the imbalances we humans are foisting upon creation. The water cycle is a sign of the connection between heaven and earth as evaporation and rain. The bible remarks on the differences between Egypt which is irrigated by simple foot operated levers which feed irrigation channels and the climate of Israel, where the farmer must raise their eyes to the heavens and constantly seek the right balance of self-concerns and generosity. The implication is that when we are in a generous flow, receiving freely and passing on the gifts we accumulate, heaven and earth are in that same flow – rain falls down and our seeds are blessed.
The theme of our fall holidays include this self-evaluation: How are we expending our blessings? And the theme of interdependence: We are reliant on forces beyond our control. And the theme of vulnerability: The fragile, temporary sukkah is like us – fragile and temporary.
It is not easy to live at the edge of these truths. But when we know them, when we realize them, we evaluate ourselves in a truer light. We measure what is important. We feel a better relationship between our “heaven and earth;” our aspirations and our common, mundane needs.
I wish for you and me and all of us the blessings of interdependence and vulnerability.