According to the Hebrew calendar, Monday evening marks the end of the previous year and the beginning of a new one. If I had to describe the past year in a couple of sentences, I would say that it was a very good and productive year, that nature began to teach us in a way it never did before. It taught us that one force acts on all of humanity and we are all its subordinates. This realization is a very positive change that gives us some confidence for the future.
The past year taught us that we are all in one pot, “cooked” by nature’s blows. It is affecting everyone, and we all need to reflect on what is happening to us. What gives me the greatest hope is that we see how dependent we are on one another. It makes me hopeful that we will understand that we are all responsible for one another. This also brings us closer to understanding how we should relate to nature as a whole.
Although we have much more to learn from the upheavals we are going through, the blows have nevertheless been good lessons. There will be several more blows, but we will go through them and learn. Still, the sooner we realize that we are all threaded in a single fabric, and accept that in addition to our own wants, we must take the fabric into account in what we do, the better off we will all be.
The blows that we had suffered over the past year were not punishments, but lessons. Had we learned the lessons, they would have vanished. They are not nature’s response to our “sinful” past; they are its directions for our good future. Just as a parent’s admonition aims to direct a child toward a better future for the child, nature’s wrath diverts humanity from the wrong path to the right one. The sooner we reroute, the sooner nature’s “tone” toward us will change for the better.
We should not regret anything that happened in the past year. Nature is good, and all that it did, it did in order to help us. If we dwell on the past instead of correcting the future, we are certain to repeat the past mistakes and force nature to scold us once again.
Therefore, our gaze should always be forward looking; we should only focus on improving our connections with each other. If we establish good connections, we will become similar to the rest of nature—threaded like the fabric of reality, but of our own volition. If we become like nature, we will feel that nature is kind to us and our lives will be easy, calm, and good.
Members of the Oakland Fire Department rescue residents trapped by flooding following torrential rains from the remannts of Hurricane Ida in Lodi, New Jersey, September 2, 2021. (Photo by Michael Candelori/NurPhoto)