Shabbat

Portion - Matos Maasei: Did you ever Pass a Rainstorm in a Desert?

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I started to write about this week's portion yesterday - including the 42 
stops by the Israelites on their journey coming from Egypt to Israel.
 
I was thinking how it must have been boring in the Desert for 40 years.
THEN
I remembered driving from LA to Las Vegas - and being confused by a cloud -
UNTIL when my car got up close
 
I realized it was raining - and it started pouring on my car - for about 2 minutes ...
a wet - but beautiful phenomenon!
 
But this morning - I just walked 3 miles in a hurricane before dawn to come pray here (in Staten Island)
 
And I was fine until ten minutes out from the synagogue when
 there was no way to avoid the puddles and the splashing cars - so I got soaked.
 
But I remembered Florida and a previous hurricane;
The state was shut down on a Friday while my plane was flying into Miami ... but the state had some busses to get us to town.
 
I RAN to find a hotel and a grocery store,
Bought food for Shabbat
and
Invited a couple of young Israelis who I met in the grocery store.
 
The canals were rising, things were all closing, and I was in a dilemma-
Should I go to Shul Friday night or not? 
Should I be "Stubborn for G-d" or Sane for G-d's Sake?
 
I figured SOMEBODY had to pray - so I got directions to the Lubavitcher Yeshiva in South Beach
and started walking those 3 or 4 miles...
 
The water in the street literally was up above my waist
people shouted from buildings on the street
"Come Up Here or
The alligators will get you! But I (foolishly?) smiled and waived and kept going.
 
Of course the yeshiva building was locked, and the students had been evacuated.
On the walk back the waters had subsided a lot,
 
But I knew I had done something the Almighty would have wanted me to do ...
as one of the 42 steps on my journey (everyone has their journey)
 through "the wilderness"...
to the Land of Israel
 
Chazak V Ematz - be strong and courageous - we say this week at the end of the Torah Portion.
 
Shabbat Shalom
 
Rabbi Andy Eichenholz