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Rebbetzin Sarah's Column

The Climb Called Life

The imagery of Sinai becomes our anchor to navigate and climb life’s ups and downs.

Picture a mountain in front of you. Or maybe you are climbing this mountain. Your mountain is obviously elevated. But where are you standing in relation to your mountain? 

We all, at some point or another, experience lower vibrational moods. Sometimes we are in the rut of disinterest, hesitation, doubt, fear or uncertainty.
When we act on these feelings, we start falling backwards, descending the mountain.

What would we feel like if we could climb above those weighty sentiments?



The mountain reminds us to stand just one foot higher, above the nagging, above the doubtful chatter. In the climb, a bit of hope may begin to emerge. And then up you move in your mountain climbing journey.

When you are feeling the lower emotions, the mountain image of where you want to go can help you ascend. You can even use a physical gesture to represent this movement. This can help when you’re trying to quickly overcome the lower suggestions of your mind. Elevate your mindset and your climb begins again.

Did you know that at Sinai two spiritual halos were placed upon each Jew? This was the reward for our enthusiastic proclamation of “naaseh vinishma” when we were asked if we would accept the Torah. Our response, Naaseh vinishma means: Yes, we will do it, and then we will hear what it’s all about.
We said YES without hesitation.
We earned those bright halos or crowns with this powerful display of trust.
We were willing to move forward on an unknown mission, without hesitation, because we trusted Hashem.

Hesitation is a ploy of an oppositional force within us known as the yetzer hara. It’s designed to challenge our will, and get in the way of our dreams and to prevent us from staying true to our soul. By overcoming this voice, we step straight into our purpose. Each victory and every stride unleashes divine light and brings meaning into our life.

When you want to move your hesitation aside, so that you could move forward in your trek, picture the Halo.

Our sages teach us that those halos were taken from us when we sinned with the golden calf. However, we retrieve some of our halo light every time we engage in Torah study.

Get the Chabad.org app on your phone and use it to propel you forward. There. Your Torah study creates a figurative halo which will become a useful tool to promote certainty and confidence in making positive decisions throughout life’s journey. Your Torah study will help you honor your commitments without faltering.

So, in moments when doubt creeps in, sign yourself with that glowing halo. Adjust your halo and move forward without hesitation.

At Sinai, the voice of G-d reverberated with the commandment
I am the L-rd your G-d who took you out of Egypt.

This statement is more than a commandment. It’s a reminder during difficult times that not only is there a G‑d, but it’s He who will lifts us up.

There is a beautiful psalm by King David that echoes this sentiment.

“A song of ascents. I lift my eyes to the mountains-from where will my help come? My help will come from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.”

Essential to the process of facing a challenge is to recognize that Hashem is the one to turn to in our difficulties.

We were created to climb a mountain designed for us. A mountain which often presents challenges. Sometimes we fall during our climb. We face setbacks. We stumble. We fail miserably.

We can, however, pick ourselves up with the memory of the Sinai scene. We utilize the determination garnered from the light of the halo of our Torah study. We draw on the help from the Almighty who lifts us up when we ask.

We move forward without lamenting our last fall.

But what really counts is that we don’t give up. Hashem created us as humans who can regress and progress. We weren’t intended to be angels. Our mystics refer to humans as mehalchim (movers) while angels are called omdim. (stationary). We are called upon to learn from our errors and develop new muscle to move up the mountain trail called life.

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