On kashrut, sustainability, and the slaughter of two goats
Body and soul


I think a lot about sufficiency. What does it mean to have "enough"? I don't mean this as a question about consumerism, though obviously it's that too, especially in the United States during the Advent season that's gotten repackaged as shopping season. I mean it as an internal question, an emotional question.

Because the matter of having enough, or not having enough, is surely an emotional one, as much as or more than it is a fiscal one. Scarcity is a kind of mitzrayim, a narrow place. And the fear of scarcity can be even worse, in the way the fear of a thing is usually worse than the thing itself. Fear of scarcity can be existential, can make the whole world seem constrained.

Fear of not having enough can blur into fear of not being enough. Fear that if we're not smart enough, or rich enough, or thin enough, we won't be valued. Won't be seen for who we really are. Won't be loved.

And, on the other side of the coin, the sense of having enough can be a pearl beyond price. (As it is written in Pirkei Avot 4:1, "Who is rich? One who is happy with what he has.") It's simple, but it isn't easy.

During Chanukah we celebrate the miracle of unexpected abundance. The cruse of oil that shouldn't have sufficed, sufficed. We came face-to-face with a lack, and acknowledged the lack, and acted as though there were enough anyway, and that leap of faith made it so that there was enough. That's a miracle that speaks directly to my heart: not in terms of physical resources, though the holiday can be read in those ways too, but in terms of emotional and spiritual resources.

The Chanukah story is really about trusting that there will be enough. That what we have is enough. That what we are is enough.

Damn right that's a miracle.

Technorati tags: , , .