The complexity of the human body is mind boggling. In addition to the countless chemical reactions that are constantly taking place and the amazing amount of neuron activities throughout the body is beyond imagination. Our brain is an organ whose true capabilities we are only beginning to explore.
Judaism of course recognizes the uniqueness and capabilities of each human being. In the Amidah’s “Gevurot “ prayer we bless G-D for not only creating life on our planet but also our ability to perpetuate it as long as our basic needs are met. We also bless G-D for giving our body the ability to repair itself or in extreme cases, making its utmost effort to do so.
I have always looked with amazement at the reaction of our Hebrew School and B’nai Mitzvah students when Cantor Lee and I train them to read blindfolded for the purpose of not only making Hebrew reading easier but to increase their intuition, their connection to their Divine Light which G-D has put inside each one of us.
Most of the students do not think there is anything special about what they were doing. They literally take their seemingly unbelievable ability for granted as if this is just normal.
This led me to believe that our brain has some unexplored, unused innate capabilities which are naturally understood and accepted by our children. Perhaps these capabilities while still existing have faded with evolution.
A recent movie, “SuperHuman: The Invisible Made Visible” shows the experiences of individuals with extra-sensory powers that seem to defy the laws of physics. Although Cantor Lee and I haven’t seen the actual movie, we find it rather humorous that we keep getting asked if our students are in it! It seems there is a segment with children reading blindfolded.
But despite the fact that these “Super Human” abilities are actually innate within all of us and just need to be accessed and developed there is the other side of such gifts endowed by our Creator. Along with our brain’s amazing abilities there are also our human vulnerabilities.
Whenever I talk to families whose loved ones are suffering from a serious life threatening disease or a victim of a serious accident, I am reminded of just how fragile and unpredictable life can be, and how abruptly it can change or even end.
We can’t predict our future. We simply don’t know what is in store for us tomorrow, next week or next month. We can plan but G-D, as the Yiddish proverb goes, has the last laugh!
That is why Judaism encourages us to always be in a state of gratitude for the uniqueness of life on earth in general and as human creatures in particular but also because of the countless spiritual and mental possibilities which we all possess.
This awareness will serve us well as we approach the High Holy Days with hope for a better, healthier and happier New Year not only for the Jewish people but for all inhabitants of our amazing world.
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