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Hang On to Faith

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LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Psalm 84:12

A modern-day miracle occurred in Israel earlier this spring, which has not been seen since the times of Abraham and Sarah. An ultra-orthodox couple who had been married for over 45 years, but had been childless all that time, welcomed a baby boy into their home.

The mother, 65-years-young, gave birth to a healthy newborn! In news articles describing the couple, friends and family said that the two had never given up on having children despite their age. In fact, the couple's rabbi had promised that they would have children, and so every day they waited with complete trust and confidence that God would bless them with their life-long dream and He did!

The Jewish sages explain that Psalm 84 describes the longing of the Jewish people in exile for the Temple that once stood in Jerusalem. After describing this deep yearning and desire, the psalm concludes: "LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you." Since the exile would be long, the psalmist encouraged the despondent Jews to hold on to their faith and never give up.

After the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the Jews still hoped that they would rebuild it. After all, following the destruction of the First Temple, 70 years passed and the Jewish people were allowed to return and rebuild the Temple. The generation who saw the Second Temple demolished assumed that their wait time would be the same. However, 70 years came and passed.

The Roman Emperor Hadrian built a temple to the pagan god Jupiter where the First and Second Temples had once stood. Seventy years turned into 100, 100 into 200, and 200 into nearly 2,000 years. It seemed as though the second exile would never end.

However, this psalm beckons us to hold onto our faith, though it appears that God's promise may take time to be fulfilled. In Judaism, there are 13 basic tenets of faith that a Jew is obligated to believe every day. One of them is believing the messiah will come, "and even though it may take a long time, I will wait for him every day."

Friends, in our own lives, we may find ourselves waiting for our dream to be fulfilled. We are holding out for one of God's promises. We may have been waiting for a very, very long time. Waiting to have a child, waiting to find a job, waiting to find a soul-mate, waiting to buy a home. We mustn't let waiting cut into our faith and get us down. Even though it may take long, hang on and hold out - the best is yet to come.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

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