8 Tishrei 5781 / Saturday, September 26, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Life is a Maze    

Life is a Maze

How do we get through the maze? Hashem provides us with signs and resources which are available for us to use if we only take the time to follow the directions…


Rebbe Nachman said "We should never insist that everything go just the way we want it." (Tzaddik #433)
From the day we are brought into this world until the last second of our lives, we navigate through a dangerous, complex maze. We emerge from the dark, warm comfort of our mother’s womb into the reality of a cold, difficult and challenging world. Like blind mice, we stumble along, our paths full of twists and turns and many dead ends and roadblocks. We fumble through as best we can with the tools we are given but mostly we fall down, get lost and at times, just want to give up.
How we get through this labyrinth called ‘Life’ in relative composure and happiness is the ultimate question. Hashem placed each one of us here with our own personal mission yet we need not go it alone. He provides us with signs and resources which are available for us to use if we only take the time to follow the directions. Along our journey to the other side, we must cautiously search for the desired exit points. Along each passageway are many different clues which inevitably lead us to the Instruction Manual (Torah), but we are habitually too busy trying to do things our way, thinking we know better. And when we arrive at a barrier, rather than asking for help from those who are experienced and whose knowledge far outweighs our own (a reputable Rabbi), we will often just turn around and try a different trail, one which leads us further off course, until we are so disoriented, we don’t know which way to turn.
Rabbi Chanina the son of Chachinai said: “One who stays awake at night, or travels alone on the road, and turns his heart to idleness, has forfeited his life”.(Pirkei Avot 3:5)
Since other mazes intersect on different dimensions, we have to learn how to bridge them together as multiple layered structures so they all flow together in a symbiotic fashion. Without mutual respect and cooperation, no Light will flow within. The darker the corridor, the tougher it is to navigate.  It is not sufficient to open doors for our own personal use and pray only for ourselves, if we do not share with Am Yisrael, the Jewish People. While, in essence, we travel the road alone, we are also obligated to show others the suitable avenue to take, mentoring them along the way, if necessary.
Unlike a pack of lab rats which learn through trial and error by receiving a treat at the end of each grueling challenge, we have free will and the ability to make decisions. Each choice that we make brings us closer to the finish line, but whether it will be a trail of wasteful blunders or a conduit for holy endeavors is up to us. When we take the right route, trusting that the Almighty is in control, the puzzle falls into place with ease. And when Hashem sees that we are making the correct choices, He enlightens our path with even more clarity. If we so merit, additional hints await us at every corner.
If we find that we are becoming perplexed, that life is just too confusing, there is no need to lose hope.  Rebbe Nachman teaches that “there is no despair in the world” (Likutey Moharan 2-78).  Call out to the Creator of the World and ask for guidance. And remember that all we possess, materially, physically and spiritually, is due to G-d’s compassion and mercy, a true present which mustn’t be taken for granted.  Conversely, understand that all of life’s obstructions are also hidden gifts, mere stepping stones uniquely designed to bring you toward the Light at the end of the tunnel.
So despite all the hurdles and convoluted tests, one has to admit, life with emuna is simply A-Mazing!

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