I learned a lot over these past few days.
I learned about the meaning of Simchos Torah, and the meaning of simcha itself. I learned that I was stronger than I thought, and that I should trust in G-d more. I learned about who and what really mattered at the end of the day- and I learned how to be thankful for these many lessons.
It wasn’t always easy. It was an emotional festival, more so than any of the other yom tovim, but I feel that through the ups and downs of the holiday, through the celebrating and dancing, as well as the tears and doubts, it taught me the true meaning of emunah.
Emunah is loving G-d and His Torah deep down, even at times when it’s difficult to. Emunah is rejoicing in the gift of Torah and mitzvos- but it also leaves room for the natural human doubts and uncertainties. It sounds counter intuitive. How can doubt be a part of faith? Surely it is the antithesis of faith?
But in reality, it’s not so black and white. Emunah doesn’t mean unquestioning, blind faith- at least not to me. It means a sort of faith and love that is so deep rooted that you can afford to question and doubt and wonder and have bad days, without losing your faith.
And this yontiff, I began to realise that for the first time. I realised that loving and rejoicing with the Torah, and being an observant Jew, didn’t mean that I couldn’t have doubts, and that my love for G-d could withstand the trials and tribulations of day to day life. I’m not perfect; there are times when I begin to wonder if orthodoxy really is for me, or if I need to broaden my horizons. And I now know that it’s alright to feel that way, so long as my love for Torah withstands it, and so long as, at the end of the day, after all the ups and downs, I can stand before G-d and thank Him.
Thank You, G-d, for the gift of emunah, and for teaching me how to use it.