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Serenity at the four way stop

02/20/2020 12:30:05 PM


Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

It has been a typical week of frustration for the exhausted soul seeking a moment’s respite from the grip of depression. The massacre of 11 innocents by a Far-Right zealot in Germany. The soaring numbers of victims stricken with the Coronavirus. Syria on the verge of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. And, of course, all the other meshugas that makes the headlines. It is brutal. Beats us up. Yet from out of the depths of despair, I discovered a timely balm, a comforting pause from the relentless assault of the news. In an unexpected place I found modest hope, humanity and divinity. Not words of prayer in a house of worship. Not in the crisp air of a mountain top retreat. Not in the quiet solitude of a piney forest. Not in a breath- taking tropical sunset.


I found faith and inspiration at a four way stop in Sandy Springs. As I approached the busy intersection, all of us in a hurry, all of us eager to arrive at our destination and yet, all of us followed the etiquette of the road. We proceeded through the intersection in proper sequence, one car at a time. No horns blasted. No drivers with rolled down windows howling ugly obscenities. No nasty gestures. Decency prevailed as the work bound vehicles glided past the four stop signs in perfect harmony. It was an astonishing sight to behold. Civility and courtesy in the crucible of morning traffic.


When folks seek serenity wishing to feel a holy, encouraging presence, they pursue the exotic. The remote. The mystical. In fact, we need not travel to a place distant and far away. We can find God during rush hour at the corner of Lake Forrest Drive and West Wieuca.

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Fri, April 3 2020 9 Nisan 5780