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The Power of Letting Go

The Power of Letting Go


For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. — Leviticus 25:3-4

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is a double reading, Behar-Bechukotai, from Leviticus 25:1–27:34. Behar means “the mountain,” and Bechukotai means “My decrees.”

A few years ago, I experienced a very intense back spasm. My immediate reaction was to tense my entire body as I winced in pain, but I quickly remembered that only makes the situation worse. The way to release a back spasm is to relax.

This is the power of letting go. Most people don’t associate power with letting go. We are more likely to think of power as holding on and pressing on. Yet sometimes, the most effective thing that we can do to help our situation is to let go of it.

The Power of Letting Go

In this week’s Torah portion, we come across the commandment of shmita, the directive to let the land of Israel lay fallow every seven years. The word shmita literally means “release.” The message of the sabbatical year is that there are times in life when we need to let go instead of working ourselves beyond our capacity. There are times that we need to let go and recognize that only God is truly in control.

For some of us, this may mean taking a step back from managing every aspect of our finances, both current and future. We need to do our best, but then trust God for this day and the future. Other times, we may need to let go of working on our children. We are constantly pulling out their weeds and trying to help them blossom. But sometimes, we need to let go for a bit so that they can grow on their own.

There are times when we need to let ourselves go. In our effort to be the best version of ourselves, we can set unfair expectations and create unrealistic to-do lists. Yet, in order to be our best we need time to rest, recalibrate, and reconnect with God. This is the power of letting go.

In any situation where we find ourselves stuck and that life is beyond our control, the antidote is always to submit to God. When we let go and have faith, we become more open to receive His unlimited blessings.

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