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To Light A Spark

I know a man. I met him about a year ago.

He works with money. Business.

When I first met him, at his Shabbat table, all he seemed to talk about was the market this, money that, real estate this. Very materialistic.

But it was always in relation to G‑d. Every word about money was met with a word about G‑d; every comment about business was infused with a sort of G‑dly light. I’ve never heard anything like it, really.

Usually, we hear that money, that prosperity, it’s nothing. Gornisht. And if someone is concerned with it, he is shallow.

But this guy, money to him had somehow become this beautiful thing, a means of expressing G‑dliness.

I had never experienced something like that. But that night, as I sat there listening to Torah thought after Torah thought comparing the stock market to G‑d, expressing how people react to the economic times as a metaphor for faith, I began to understand something.

This man, he is a poet. An artist. And that’s not some fancy talk. That’s the honest literal truth. If you knew him, you'd agree.

It’s not that he writes sonnets, or that he would be published in the Atlantic. It’s that when he speaks, he turns the words he speaks into Truth.

Most of us, we think we need to speak about gorgeous sunsets, flowing hills, nightingales, to create beauty.

But the truth is that a poet is just a person who sees beauty in everything he looks at. A person who can see the greatest and truest poetry of all, G‑d’s voice, all around him.

Another word for poet is chassid. A chassid throws away the peal of surface reality, and bites into the fruit within.

What I really learned from this man is that we all have the ability to be poets. To be chassidim.

That no matter what we are involved with, whether it be money, waste management or writing, we have the ability to rip the world open and let G‑d’s song play.

Elad Nehorai is an alumnus of Arizona State University and Mayanot yeshiva. You can find Elad wandering around America, gallivanting around Israel, or getting lost in the clouds. His favorite things to do include reading, writing and conversing with G-d.

"Sir? Sir? Are you coming?"

You look up. In front of you is the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower. Practically the tallest edifice in the world. Taller than the Taj Mahal or the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building. Just looking up at this building makes your neck hurt.

"Sir?"

We all have a Tower in our lives. An edifice that G‑d has created, something we were meant to fly to the top of. A mission. A goal. A mitzvah. And just like the Willis Tower, our Tower can seem enormous, incredible, beyond comprehension.

And so we tiptoe around. We spend our time sightseeing on the ground below. Looking at the little nice physical objects that the world has to offer. Restaurants, museums, zoos. Enjoyable things, true. But, in the end, we all need to visit the Tower.

"Sir?"

Do you hear him? He's calling. He's holding the door open for you. The biggest tower in the world.

Yes, it's scary. Some of us, we're afraid of what might happen if we get on that elevator. What happens if we weren't meant to go up? If the Tower is going to fall? It's happened before . . . What happens if we fall?

Is it any wonder fear of heights and fear of success are such prevalent fears in our world today?

To go up to the top of the Tower—sure it might be beautiful, sure we might love to go up there . . . But we could fail. It could all come crashing down. And then where would we be?

And so we stay on the nice, safe ground. Looking out over the river, watching the reflection of the Tower bounce off the waves.

"Sir?"

If only we knew what lies in store for us. The incredible heights we could reach, if we just took that first step, just allowed G‑d to take us by the hand and put us in his Elevator, if we trusted His machinery to help us on our way up. To realize we aren't alone, that a massive amount of thought went into that Tower and that Elevator, and if only we trusted the Chief Architect, we would soon be looking down at the little dots below.

The little world, the one on the ground floor, the one we thought was so interesting . . . but once we're up top, once we're chilling with G‑d, fulfilling His mission, seems suddenly so insignificant.

"Sir?"

The door is open. You're being motioned to come in. It's time.

Elad Nehorai is an alumnus of Arizona State University and Mayanot yeshiva. You can find Elad wandering around America, gallivanting around Israel, or getting lost in the clouds. His favorite things to do include reading, writing and conversing with G-d.
People travel around the world searching for it. They starve themselves for it. They scream, they cry and they beg for it.

“It” is that little thing called meaning. Truth.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just bang two rocks together and find It? What if we could save money on airplane tickets and seminars and find that meaning in our own lives?

Join me on my journey through the infinite without even resorting to a midlife crisis.
Elad Nehorai is an alumnus of Arizona State University and Mayanot yeshiva. You can find Elad wandering around America, gallivanting around Israel, or getting lost in the clouds. His favorite things to do include reading, writing and conversing with G-d.