I am sitting in a nice warm home listening to the powerful wind blow against and around the house, breaking branches, and tossing my neighbors’ garbage all over my lawn. Pip, our dog, looks out, wistfully wishing to be outside and wind tan, the way he does when he sticks his head out the car window.
I too, long to be outside in the wind. I’m not a wind tanner, but I am a devoted wind flier. Our apartment building in 1964 Toronto stood in a wide-open area. The winds were scary, especially for a gorgeous and adorable four-year-old boy. I was walking with my mother insisting that I did not need to hold her hand to withstand the wind. I was wrong. The wind literally lifted and carried me across the street. It was only seconds, but I remember the feeling of flying, I was free, wondering why my mother was screaming. I became a devoted wind flier.
The winds of life are far more powerful than the wind outside. They carry all of us, not just angelic four year olds. We are lifted and carried by events that shape the world, and we have a choice whether to simply be carried or to fly with the wind.
The winds of history are picking up speed in this week’s portion. God blew a relatively small wind to fly Joseph to Egypt, and then increased its power to lift the entire family and carry them all to Joseph. A storm is brewing as Jacob readies the family for his death. It approaches hurricane speed as Joseph and his brothers die. The tornado will touch down as the new Pharaoh assumes the throne.
The winds of history were blowing. Many of The Children of Israel stuck their heads out the window and absorbed the wind’s blow. Wind tanners. Most allowed themselves to be sucked up by the Egyptian winds and became slaves.
A few chose to be wind fliers and soar with the wind. The Tribe of Levi was tossed by the Egyptians but it was so determined to be a wind flier that it never succumbed to Egyptian’s hot air. They never became slaves.
The winds of history are clearly blowing with gale force. We have a choice whether to simply stick our heads out the car window and wind tan with Pip, or, to fly with the wind and use each challenge as an opportunity to soar and rise to new heights.
Fly with me.
The Foundation Stone™ offers many flying tools this week: The Blessings of the Twelve Tribes, The Shabbat Blessing of Our Children, Hamalach Hagoeil, and Baruch Shem Kivod Malchuto. This week’s favorites: As A Parent To A Child andMaster Gardeners.
Rabbi Simcha L. Weinberg