Dear Father in Heaven,
Tonight, all across the world, in the dimly lit shuls, we will be reading Eicha. Those haunting words, are read in a tune so full of longing. Yearning to go back home. Yearning to be together once again. Yearning to see and feel your loving embrace.
Those first three words, are so painful to hear. “How is it that you are sitting alone?”
Alone without your children by your side. Alone without a home.
In pure honesty, I don’t need the lights to be dimmed, nor the haunting tune to stir my emotions. That feeling of loneliness is part of my daily life. It’s embedded in my heart and soul. It’s in every fiber and cell of my body.
Feeling alone, cast away from a family.
Feeling alone, having my childhood and innocence stolen by abuse and trauma.
Feeling alone, struggling and fighting the many voices in my head.
Feeling alone, while fighting to be a functional father and husband.
So dear Father, I don’t need to be in shul, sitting on the floor, desperately trying to shed a tear. The tears flow freely from my eyes many a time, without any outside stimulation. They are no stranger to me, as well as the deep sadness and pain that we are all trying to feel on this day.
Turning my teary eyes heavenward, I have a request to ask. You are alone up in heaven and I am alone down on this earth. Can we be alone together? Can we be in unity while being alone? I’m unfortunately very familiar with pain, sadness and loss. With mourning, grieving and suffering. Let’s do this together. Let’s mourn together. Let’s sob together.
Hashem, there’s a group of your children, with whom I’m very close with. The ones who have been hurt and traumatized. The ones who fight suicidal urges every day. The ones who walk around looking great on the outside, yet are so lost and confused internally. Some of them may be in shul tonight while others may be home. Some will be fasting and others won’t. Some will be mourning while others can’t open the door to their emotions, lest they have an emotional breakdown.
If I’m a human being and I feel their pain so intensely, I know you feel their pain so much more. You live in the world of infinity and your emotions have no limits. I ask you, please be alone with them as well. Please be with them and feel their pain.
One of my favorite verses is where you write to us that “you are sick with love over us”. I tear up when I think of it. Those words are so beautiful and soothing.
I was hurt, abused and traumatized. I’ve been through immense challenges and struggles. I’ve suffered through so much but I’m here to say that I still love you.
I don’t know why I’ve been tested with so much. I will never know. It’s something that is above my pay grade. However, if You tell us that you are sick with love over us, pure and true unconditional love, I owe that love back to you.
On this day of mourning, I beg of You, to please bring us back home. Bring us back together again. We are like bashed and battered sheep, wandering through the desert, without any shepherd. Searching for some respite from the harsh elements of the long and bitter galus. We are lost and confused. It’s been so long.
I recently heard of a three year orphan who innocently asked his mother, “when is Totty coming home, it’s been so long already?”
I turn to You, dear Father in heaven and ask you, when are you coming home? It’s been so long already! We’ve been through so much and this galus has been so dark and bitter. Bring us home once again.
There are some of us that are crying for it. Some of us are too bitter to cry, some are in too much pain to cry, while some are too confused to feel. However, I promise that we all want to go home. Beneath all our layers of pain, there lies a very deep longing to be family once again.