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The Ship in the Harbor

obormottel Friday, 08 May 2015

There's a saying that "A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what it was built for."

Us addicts may feel safe and in control of our own happiness while using our lust, even playing G-d a little bit at times by trying to control our lives' outcomes. But realizing that simply makes us into "ships in the harbor", and that our real tafkid is not to be safe against the dock, but rather to be riding the waves of life with Hashem's guidance and care. Hashem built each and every one of us with exactly the right measurements, proportions, and calculations to overcome each ripple in the water, enormous, big, small, or minuscule, and if we just "play it safe" without leaving the docks of our lust, then all we are doing is becoming a show, a museum, a thing for people to look at with passing amusement before moving on to something more real.

R' Shmuel Sheinberg ZT"L (brother of R' Chaim Pinchas ZT"L) used to say that the reason why we make bris milahs and levayas into such large affairs, is because they are comparable to ships leaving harbor and coming back into harbor. When a ship leaves on its maiden voyage, it leaves with much pomp and circumstance. When it returns safely to harbor, it is greeted back with similar celebration. The same is true with human life. A person is sent off into the ocean of the world with a party, with a farewell of "k'sheim she'nichnas l'bris, kain yikanes l'torah, l'chuppah, u'l'maaysim tovim." When that person "returns to port", he is also greeted by members of his family and friends who loved him and respected him, and is brought back to his place of origin amidst words of remembrance of his great deeds and accomplishments during his voyage.

May we be zoche to successfully leave the harbors of lust that we have fooled ourselves into thinking create safeties for us, and sail out proudly into the sea of real life, of living with the ultimate security that Hashem is constantly guiding and guarding us through every wave and ripple (not to mention that he creates the waves for us because He knows we can handle them).