This morning, looking for just the right words to wish a friend happy birthday, I stumbled across an old Hebrew saying that I’d forgotten about, but that my grandmother used to say:
“Zeh hayom asah Adonai, nagilah venism’cha vo.”
It means: “This is the day that the L-rd has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Now, my grandparents were both lucky enough to escape what happened in Europe before and during WWII, but they (and thus I) had relatives who did not. So when my grandmother said that, it had a certain weight to it. Hopefully, none of us have the same direct experiences.
The holidays can be he difficult, stressful, exhilarating, and overpowering. Winter is hard, toddlers are hard, work is hard, relationships are hard, being alone is hard (especially this time of year)…
Existence is hard. Of course, it beats the other thing.
Whether or not you believe in a deity, whether or not you have a creation myth, take a few minutes out just to celebrate this day – any day, every day – simply because it exists, and so do we, and may we take comfort in knowing that there is a purpose to our life, either bestowed from on high or made of our own free will.
Rejoice, and be glad in it!