By Eric Leest
In this upcoming High Holy Day season it may be the desire of many to reach new heights and advance areas of your life that you feel you may have neglected. A way that I have found very effective in achieving this growth is through the study of the Torah, the great men and women whose stories are told therein, and how they relate to my own life.
The definition of biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else. I am convinced that the author of the Torah knows us better than we know ourselves. As I read the weekly Torah selections over the last couple of years, something miraculous began to happen. Each individual’s journey, struggles and achievements began to unfold in my life, from Abraham to Moses, Joshua to Caleb and many others in between.
It took courage and commitment to fully understand and embrace their state of mind and relate to them on a personal level, but as I did these individuals captured my imagination. I decided to take the plunge. Once I did, I was amazed at what I had found. The hidden deep within their stories exemplifies the power of transformation.
We recently finished reading the Book of Numbers. We learned how Caleb and Joshua were able to see the truth of looking beyond immediate gratification, and truly seeing and appreciating that on Mt. Sinai G-d gave the People of Israel the Promised Land and everything in it. The story of Caleb and Joshua looking beyond the surface and seeing the deeper truth spoke to me.
I too have seen this truth in my own life. It has taken a lot of courage to look at myself and see my truth regardless of appearance. I have learned that if you hold onto your truth, no matter what you decide that truth is, regardless of appearance or circumstances that take place outside of you, you will receive many gifts this High Holy Day season and beyond.
The most prominent individual throughout Torah is Moses. He is first introduced in the Book of Exodus. We are told that Pharaoh's daughter found him floating in a basket on the river. She drew him out of the water and named him Moses. His name means to draw out, to rescue. And that is what he ends up doing for his people. He draws them out from their slavery in Egypt.
The upcoming holiday is an opportune time to reflect on your own life. What is your ‘Egypt’? What are you stuck in? What are you a slave to?
As I learned about Moses from Exodus to Deuteronomy, my life took a turn. I recognized that I had areas in my life where my full potential was not being reached, where desires were not being fulfilled. The Moses within me gave me the courage to draw these desires out and lead me to freedom of consciousness where I had the ability to create the life I wanted.
I found that as you identify with these great individuals of Torah, you begin to see many parallels in your own life. These people literally unfold in your life. Until you can experience this change for yourself it is hard to explain. Let's just say they literally become part of your DNA.
Happy holiday and much love,