The Soap Maker
The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) for 2017 began at sunset, September 20 and continued until nightfall, September 22. Whereas many people celebrate New Year’s Day with football and parties, our Jewish friends spend much of their New Years time in the synagogue, as it is one of the holiest times of their year.
There is a similarity when one thinks of making New Year’s resolutions, usually in an effort to improve oneself. The Jewish New Year is even moreso a time of introspection, a time to look back at the mistakes made in the past year and a time to discern changes needed to live a better life in the year ahead.
With that in mind, a local rabbi and author, Rabbi Evan Moffic, whose writings I have been reading, sent the following illustration for Rosh Hashanah:
Once upon a time, a rabbi was walking with a soap maker. The soap maker asked him “Why is it that we pray and study the Bible, as people have done for thousands of years, and still the world is filled with violence and lies? Does faith really work?”
The rabbi replied, “Well, let me ask you a question. Soap has been around for thousands of years, and yet, we still see people who are unwashed and unclean. Why hasn’t soap made the world perfectly clean?”
The soap maker replied, “Well, of course, soap is no good unless you use it!”
“Aha,” replied the Rabbi. “So it is with God’s Word. Unless we use it in our daily lives-unless we believe and cherish it-it does not work.”
As we continue to get our fall programming going, may we benefit from this story of the soap maker, that we too might be sure we use God’s Word in our thinking, in our doing, in our speaking, in our living, in all that we are about each and every day, that God may be all the more glorified in us and through us, individually and as a community of faith!
In His Steps,