Rabbi Yair D. Robinson
June 4, 2021
The Boy in the Woods: Kabbalat Shabbat Story
Once there was a young boy who lived with his parents in a village very near the edge of a forest. Although the boy went to school and did all the things that a young boy should do, he had one unusual habit. Every day he would go to the forest and stay there for about an hour and then come home. His father observed him doing this for many, many days and began to wonder what his son was doing in the forest. Actually, he even began to be a bit worried and concerned. One day, the father followed his son and watched as his son sat in the forest silently. As the boy was returning to the village, his father caught up with him. He asked him what he was doing sitting silently in the forest. The boy responded that he was praying to God. The father smiled at his son and said, “That is wonderful, my son. But, you know, you do not have to go all the way into the forest to pray to God. You can pray to God anywhere. After all, God is the same everywhere you go.” “Yes, “said the son, “God is the same everywhere, but I’m not.”
We are not the same everywhere. We have prayed and been where we needed to be, but when we are together, even as we are anxious about showing our faces, we are different. As we continue to emerge, may we continue to strive to be the people God knows we can be. Amen.