Yesterday night, I got one of the regular texts that I get from Chaim, who has taken it upon himself to send out messages telling us what the Rav is saying, and where he is going.
So yesterday, I got the following text:
“This Shabbat is 40 days before Purim, when we start to cry out with all our strength: ‘Save me from the Klipat Haman-Amalek!’”
You can read more about what the klipa of Haman-Amalek actually is HERE, but you can basically sum it up like this: a profound sense of dissatisfaction.
You know, like nothing is really worth anything much, like all your blessings don’t really count for anything, that there’s no point to anything, no real good in your life.
I.e. exactly how I was feeling last week.
This week, I’m doing much better, thank God, but not for the first time, I can see how much of what goes on the world is according to the Divine calendar. Rosh Chodesh Adar rolled around, and the dissatisfaction with life that is part and parcel of the klipa of Haman-Amalek hit me full force, and nearly took me out.
Some years it’s maybe not as powerful a force in the world, but this year, 5779, it seems to be packing a much bigger wallop than usual, and sucking the life, and the joy, and the enthusiasm right out of everything.
Here’s how I managed to get through last week more or less in one piece:
- Lots and lots of talking to God
- Lots of taking it easy, and accepting that I am currently being giving the test of serving God on the ‘down’, which Rav Ofer Erez writes a lot about in his book, From the Depths.
- A bit of sitting by Ashdod beach, just watching the waves roll over each other. That helped me to internalize more the idea that ‘this feeling, too, will pass’, and to just try to go with the flow a bit more instead of beating myself up for feeling so awful (which really never helps, in any case.)
- A bit of painting, a bit of shopping, a bit of trying a new recipe – things that so often, I discount as being too gashmius, or materialistic, especially when that Haman-Amalek klipa sneaks up on me on the more religious side of things, and makes me feel like unless I’m a perfect angel, I’m simply not doing enough to serve Hashem.
Let’s be clear: Of course I’m not doing enough to serve Hashem!
But God already knows that, and He knows that this is part and parcel of being a human being. All God wants, really, is the continued effort and enthusiasm to try to do what God wants. Whether or not we actually manage to get there is entirely out of our hands.
So, after a week of taking it very easy, I regained a lot of energy and strength to get back on the horse, and ride off towards Purim, when the upside-down world is going to right itself again, and that huge sense of dissatisfaction that is the hallmark of Haman-Amalek will finally be smashed to pieces.
But in the meantime, I least now I know what to pray about:
Save me from the Klipat Haman-Amalek!