"The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time."
“I was desperate. I saw a chasm opening in front of me, a pit from which there was no escape. … I was twenty-three years old and we had been married just over two and a half years. The tensions were terrible. I felt as if my life were a long corridor, with many doors along each side. I had opened each door … [and] … each door … [led] nowhere … Was there no door that led to truth, to freedom, no door to sunshine and happiness? I began to cry. There was no future. I was dying. …There was nothing to live for. No hope.
“I was sliding: down, down, down…. falling through space. And then, as I fell, a thought brushed by me, a little thought … like a feather floating by in the midst of the void, a crazy little idea.... No, it couldn’t be true! But then … what else was there besides death? I ‘knew’ that G-d didn’t exist. The problem was that I felt I also didn’t exist…
“Suddenly, I began to turn the whole question around. I saw something I had never seen before. There was one unopened door …. Why had I never noticed that door before? It was the door to G-d. I had been sure G-d did not exist. But now that my own life seemed to be falling apart, I began to wonder.… When I was honest about my life, I saw that I did not exist – my life was empty – and at that time I was sure that G-d did not exist.
“But what if G-d did exist? Maybe then I could also exist! Maybe my existence depends on G-d! … I began to have this crazy thought. Could G-d exist? No, it’s crazy. … No normal person believed in G-d. And then I began to wonder if I had ever met any normal people!
“When you are drowning, you grab the life preserver; you don’t ask questions. I was drowning, and all of a sudden, out of the sky, came this life preserver. I grabbed it. What choice did I have? I wanted to live! G-d, do You exist? Could You exist? Dawn was beginning to break in Ann Arbor as a new light began to glow inside me. All of a sudden, I started to have this incredible feeling of hope, a new idea that would enable me to live!”(From Central Park to Sinai)
That day was January 10, 1966, fifty two years ago. I later found out that it corresponded to the 18th Day of the Jewish Month of Teves, which occurs next week. On that day in 1966, I feel that Hashem sent an angel to us in Ann Arbor, and saved the life of myself, my wife and our future family. Each year on that day, I make a festive meal in honor of that event.
“Min ha maitzar … from the depths I cried out to Hashem, and He answered with expansiveness.” (Psalm 118) The Exile in Egypt began when the Patriarchs and the Sons of Jacob left us. But soon, Hashem sent a Redeemer named Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses), who took the Children of Israel to Mount Sinai.
We can also expect a Redeemer soon, on the day Hashem will rescue us forever from darkness!