G-d, where are you? Give me a sign!
Have you been searching for G-d?
As we all know, the "hero" of this Parasha earns the distinct honor of having the Parasha named after him. Of course, we are talking about Pinchas. (In fact, out of all the fifty-four Parashiot in the Torah, only six of them are named after a person!) Pinchas was so highly recognized for his brave act on behalf of G-d, that it is written in chapter 25, verse 12 "Behold! I give him My covenant of peace!" (And we thought that Jean Henri Dunant was pretty cool for winning the first "Nobel Peace Prize" in 1901!)
Now, let's turn to the Haftaras Pinchas! Do we ever stop searching for G-d!
We know from Midrashim, in the opinion of the Ralbag that the hero of the Haftorah - Eliyahu HaNavi - is none other than Pinchas himself!
And what can we learn from them to help us stay in Recovery? What Character Trait (the opposite of our Character Defects) are both Pinchas and Eliyahu praised for?
"Z'rizus" or Zealousness"
Yes, in their pursuit of increasing their Conscious Contact with Hashem, Pinchas/Eliyahu swept away all thought of their personal sense of SELF. They broke thru the klipa/shell of their EGO - and asked just one question:
"What do YOU want from me NOW?"
This question has become my personal 24/7 Mantra. And has been the primary contributor reducing my Self-Consciousness and elevating my G-d Consciousness. Whether I'm faced with a major problem in my life or just some small choice like when to say my morning prayers and how fast - or not to say them - I can ask this question, pause, quiet my mind and soon I will hear a message in my head that often is the best and most G-d conscious decision! Please try this and see for yourself how much more in alignment you will feel with your Higher Power.
NOW BACK TO OUR STORY...
Pinchas/Eliyahu wasn't content with just eliminating Zimri or Jezebel - who brought the People the two greatest addictions of all time: ADULTERY and IDOLATRY.
No, Pinchas/Eliyahu wanted to really SEARCH FOR AND FIND G-D!
Take a look at our Haftorah and you'll find one of the moving and profound experiences of all time! The Haftorah, quoting Melachim/Kings ch.19 v.8-12 describes Eliyahu's Journey to FIND G-d. In this poignant private conversation with Hashem, Eliyahu like Moshe travels forty days and forty nights without food to the "Mountain of G-d" (aka Horeb-Mt Sinai). And G-d asks Eliyahu, "Why are you here?" Eliyahu expresses his deepest emotional longing to finally FIND G-d.
And here's where the accounting of this back and forth conversation get's very intense and moving.
And G-d said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Hashem, for Hashem is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the L-rd, but the L-rd was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the L-rd was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the L-rd was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a:
קול דממה דקה
a thin small voice!!
Let’s consider how this Message speaks to us...
When those of us in pursuit of Recovery really learn the Big Book Twelve Step Program, we realize
- how when six of the twelve Steps refer to G-d,
- how practically every other page discusses G-d's impact in our lives,
- how the only way to FIND and HOLD ONTO G-D is thru "destruction of Self-Centeredness" (BB pg 14)
- and how "the consciousness of the Presence of G-d is today the most important fact of their lives" (BB pg 51)...
We must recognize how absolutely essential it is for us that we all SEARCH and FIND G-D!
BUT, here's the BIG LESSON, we don't necessarily have to FIND G-D by searching all over the planet for the most awesome spiritual experience - whether it's at the Kotel or at the Kever of a Gadol or waiting for hours to get a handshake and a 5 second blessing from a big Rav or making a Tikun of some sort for forty days or spending the Chagim at Uman (and I hope you forgive me if offend anyone who does these).
My dear brothers and sisters, you don't have to look OUTSIDE of yourself to find G-d...
For HE CAN BE FOUND BY LOOKING INSIDE YOURSELF! All you have to do is TO HEAR THE...
קול דממה דקה
THE thin small voice!!
If you're like most of us, and having some difficulty maintaining your sobriety and recovery - let me share a little gift with you, (BB pg 84). It is called the "The Plan of Action for the Man in Recovery" and I promise it will bring you sobriety, serenity and forever change your life:
I suggest you print and cut out this Plan of Action card and keep it in your wallet or at your desk as a frequent reminder how to STAY OUT OF SELF!