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Unless you inhabit one of those idealized marriages of never-faltering sweetness and light, you know that feeling that comes in the aftermath of an argument with a loved one.

Harsh words have been spoken, angry words, accusatory words. The words have stopped because there's nothing left to be said. Instead there is pain and incredulity, but also a peculiar serenity. You realize that there are things about your husband/wife that you will never understand, and that it is best that it is that way, for it cannot be otherwise.

There is not yet forgiveness or acceptance for what has been said and done — nor, perhaps, will there ever be. But there is something else, something that you have never felt before, at least not quite this way: a sense of trust. Your mind may be too angry or too numb to know, but your blood knows, your bones know, that now matter how wrenching the pain, no matter how agonizing the incomprehension, there remains your faith in each other, in your togetherness, in your joined future.

This is the mood that pervades the aftermath of the Torah reading of Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1). In Shemot's closing verses, Moses, the quintessential Jewish leader, rails against the suffering of his people: "Why have You done bad to this people?" he cried out to G‑d. "Why did You send me? From the time that I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he made thing worse for this people, and You did nothing to save them!" G‑d's response is equally harsh, rebuking, even punishing Moses for his outcry.

In the wake of their confrontation come the opening words of the following reading, Vaeira. There is no explicit answer to Moses' cry, no attempt to quell his terrible words. Instead there is a reiteration of the foundations of the marriage between G‑d and His people: the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the guarantee of imminent redemption. Things have happened in this marriage that we cannot understand or accept, at least not with our rational minds; but the bond holds true.

To be a Jew today, at the present juncture of our history, is to experience something akin to what Moses experiences at the juncture of Shemot and Vaeira. Just when all our dreams are on the verge of fulfillment, everything seems to be falling apart. Clouds of black despair darken our heavens, and we cry in helpless rage: Why is this happening to us? Why are we doing this to ourselves?

It is in such times that the elemental essence of our bond with G‑d is unearthed. A soothing peace wells up within our agitated souls: we realize that we trust Him.

By Yanki Tauber; based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.
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Anonymous Pearl City, HI July 13, 2007

Trust Thank you,

I am grateful that in the midst of all the struggles of life , or in my marriage, I quiet myself and rest under the shawdow of G-d's wings. I ask to help me trust in Him no matter what, peace & trust. Reply

Anonymous houston, Tx November 23, 2006

thanks Dear Rabbi Tauber, I just had a shouting confrontation with my mother, I admit, it was not pleasant. I decided I was not going to have nothing to do with her. Not really knowing what to do, I meditated/prayed and then went to
I typed in "forgiveness". This article really helped. I'm not "married" to my mother but I do have a lifelong relationship to maintain with her for my good and its G-d's commandment. I was this close to deciding she was banned from my life. I'm glad to know that if God had such heated discussions with Moses who am I to think I'm "past" that?
I even laughed, the topic piqued my curiosity; G-d and Moses having these incredible shouting matches. In a moment of intense anger, the Lord said "Your" people referring to the Israelites. So interesting, I told my siblings, "Your mother" said thus and thus to me...
Thanks for writing this, I feel peace settling in... G-D Bless You! Reply

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