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Parshat Ha’Azinu: Finding Goodness in A Painful Past

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Parsha Ha’azinu Moshe shares a beautiful prophecy in the form of a song. It’s tells us what’s going to occur for the Jewish people until the end of times.  One of the verses says: “Remember the days of long ago, and understand the years of each generation.”

Reb Nosson says that we should recall our own days of long ago and bring them into our minds. We should refresh our memories of them, so to speak, and think about them. He tells us to connect those days to our life in the present time. When we are able to reflect upon our past and connect them to what is going on with us now, we are making connections beyond time, moving beyond time, too. With these memories we are making a unity, a oneness, of our life.

How does this work?  One way is to think about an occurrence from your past, an occurrence that you struggled with, something you don’t view as a positive. Maybe it was something really difficult or painful. When you first call it to mind, you might not see a clear picture of how everything turned out for the best, but don’t give up! Look for Hashem in the events that transpired. See if you can connect it to a present benefit, something you’ve gained. It may be an insight, a situation, or even an overt turnaround. Look for the positive in where you are today that couldn’t come about if you didn’t go through what you went through. Look for a way that you can find Hashem’s expression of goodness in your life, in the past and present.

Reb Nosson tells us that when we go back through the years, we engage in the process of creating a wholeness, a oneness in and of our lives.

May you have a day of oneness and unity.

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