I’m sorry in advance if this email sounds self-serving or too raw.  To quote today’s youth, “it’s my truth” or “this is my process”.

To quote my brother’s email:
” This has been a tough week.  In one 24 hour period, I responded to the following situations; a young person who was diagnosed with cancer, an individual whose business, just as it was getting off the ground after a serious investment, faced a major loss, a young man facing an intense mental health crisis and another parent/child relationship that is on the brink because of another mental health crisis.”

All of these people were turning for guidance or support of some sort.

This week the Torah tells us that “these are the offspring of Isaac the son of Avraham, Abraham begat Isaac”.

This is both a literal event, ie. Isaac was born because Abraham and Sara birthed him, but it is also a spiritual event.  Isaac was empowered to carry Abraham’s calling to the world because Abraham begat Isaac.

This means that Abraham made the effort to teach the world about G-dliness and the fact that Hashem is inherently present in our world and in our lives.

This is our calling as a People and the charge and responsibility Abraham caused all his descendents to carry.

Why do people turn to a Rabbi when in crisis? I hope because the Rabbi has spiritual wisdom and anchoring to share.  I’m surely not a therapist or a doctor.

I call on my own faith and try to share that with the individual looking for support.

As Thanksgiving is upon us I want to express my gratitude.

While I wish that all of these people didn’t have these difficult challenges, I’m grateful that I can be of service to them.

I’m grateful that I was raised in a tradition that gives me an anchor in a rich faith and a very real and personal relationship with Hashem.

And my prayer, wishes and hope for you and I dear reader.  May we not face any external challenges of any sort, only the ones you choose to bring upon yourself to grow.  May we recognize the deep love that Hashem has for us and feel the connection and warmth of His embrace.  May you continue to nurture our relationship through study, prayer and meditation.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Great Shabbos!
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman