A Glimpse inside (of the Tsfat Conference evening performance)
By: Raezelle Bookey
I push open the heavy glass door of Beit Hatavshil and enter into the brightly lit room. I am 20 minutes late for the play that is being performed. Elisheva plays the writer, sitting at her desk behind her computer, surrounded by packages of crackers and rice cakes. She dialogues with the family of characters that she has created: one mother and two daughters. She wants to inject some kind of conflict, some tension, into the story line. The characters do not agree to accept upon themselves the hardship that she wants to inflict. However, the writer does not want to punish. She does not have evil intent, She does not intend to inflict hardships. She wants, rather, to develop the character and family by bringing out their strengths, and her only way to do this is through tension and drama of some kind. She has compassion for her characters and wants to work together with them.
I think of Hashem as I watch Elisheva behind her computer, controlling her characters’ lives. They plead and beg her to do it this way and not that way- anything but that. The writer, the creator of the story and of the characters, knows that only with conflict and hardship will her story be story- will she be able to develop them to their potential. She truly has compassion.
If this writer feels compassion for her characters, how must G-d “feel” when He gives us sorrow? Do I see His compassion and His love, the necessity of life’s dramas, as clearly as the writer sees it in her story? How “hard” must it be for G-d to give His creations conflicts and hardships; to watch us bemoan our fate; to fight reality?
I feel a new awareness of G-d’s love and compassion: an opportunity for pause and for wonderment at His relationship with us.
I push open the heavy glass door of Beit Hatavshil and walk home.
Reprinted with permission from the Soferet Newsletter, Issue #13