No one is alone with friends and faith SanTan Sun News

No one is alone with friends and faith

July 10th, 2018 | by alexander
No one is alone with friends and faith
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By RABBI DR. IRWIN WIENER

Contributor

How many times have we wished we had the ability to express ourselves when we are the recipients of goodness as demonstrated by others?

Sometimes we just look in amazement at the many people who cross our paths during our journey and who have had an impact on our lives. Perhaps we take these individuals for granted or even come to expect the different episodes that give us fulfillment.

Each morning when we awake to a new day, we can also find new things that will brighten our day or make the experience more exciting in so many ways.

But, then we forget all too often to just say a simple “thank you.” We have a tendency to forget the ones who impact our lives – the postal worker or the law enforcement officers or the gardener or even the grocery clerk, and for sure the men and women who proudly serve our country.

If we stop to think for a moment, there are so many groups and individuals who are part of us in so many ways.

Even Scripture demonstrates how easy it is to forget until time slides by us and we are forgotten as we forget.

People’s minds sometimes are enslaved, not for thinking differently, but because we choose to ignore the blessings we receive.

We take the benevolence offered by God and squander it on complacency and the desire to be part of a greater society rather than contribute to it.

Then I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” And each time I find something different in the message. It is a timeless story of greed and goodness combined to emphasize that each conflicts with the other.

The miracles experienced in this film come from the fact that adversity sometimes wakes us up to reality, the reality that goodness comes with effort, and greed rears its ugly head so easily.

No person is alone if she or he has friends. And no person is alone if he or she has faith. I believe they go together. Our faith is somehow strengthened when can hold a hand or be together as we share the difficulties as well as buffet the waves.

Each of us represents a microscopic view of the world. If we listen and watch we can see the whole world in front of us – from dialogue, to accent, to wishes and completion.

We may look differently on the outside, but inwardly we share the same needs and desires. We all need compassion and caring, acceptance and togetherness. Most importantly, however, is our desire for life.

To me, the film depicts in a very moving way the need for continuance and continuity. If we really think about it, our values are no different than those of the person sitting next to us, or living next door to us, or residing miles away or even in distant lands.

Albert Einstein, I believe, summed it up best:

“Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we know:

“That we are here for the sake of others…above all, for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.

“Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

I could not help think as I read these words how much of an impact we have on the lives of those we come in contact with each and every day.

We probably will never know to what extent we truly affect their lives. I do know that each and every time people gather either for prayer, or to celebrate a special occasion or share a sorrow, there is a feeling of contentment and satisfaction in the knowledge that no one need be alone.

The men and women whom we chose to lead us in these difficult times of terror, uncertainty, desecrations, hopefully are answering a noble cause – the cause of survival and continuity.

Even in our small corner of this great universe, it does matter, all lives matter, our faith matters.

Dr. Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D. is National Chaplain of Jewish War Veterans-USA and he is with Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.

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