"The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." Isaiah 60:19
The Torah portion for this week is Ki Tavo, which means "when you have entered," from Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 60:1-22.
Sometimes, life can feel like we're on a roller coaster. We are up when circumstances are good and then down when our fortunes take a turn for the worse. We get good news, and we are up. Bad news, and we are down in the dumps. An unexpected check in the mail, and we are elated. Something breaks and we have an unexpected expenditure, we are right back down again.
Life's a bumpy ride when we tie our well-being to our circumstances.
But it doesn't need to be this way. We don't need to live our lives according to the whims of our current situation. When we trust fully in God and know that everything is ultimately for the best, we can rest assured no matter what the circumstances may be. In Psalm 112:6-7, the psalmist put it this way, "Surely the righteous will never be shaken . . . They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Those who trust in God are unshakable - they cannot be moved from their place of trust and tranquility.
This week's Haftorah reading continues with words of comfort for the nation of Israel. The reading from the book of Isaiah speaks of Israel after redemption. Among the prophecies is this: "The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light."
One way of understanding these verses is that the sun and the moon represent the ups and downs in our lives. Everything is sunny, so we feel great. The sun sets, and maybe the moon is full or maybe it is barely seen and all is dark; we go into depressive darkness. God is telling us that this up-and-down cycle will be no more. We will always have the light of God to shine on us. No matter if it's bright and sunny in our lives or dark and gloomy, we will always have light meaning, we will be clear-headed and content no matter what.
Friends, let's remember that we don't have to wait for this prophecy to be fulfilled in order to live like that. We can decide right now to be like the righteous who never fear bad news. We can declare that we will remain peaceful and joyful no matter what our circumstances might be. When we place our full trust in God, there is no such thing as a bad day because every day brings gladness, peace, and divine illumination.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President