image credit: Marcos Vasconcelos Photography
2012 is ending with the whole world tensed for 'war' in once way or another. Here in the Middle East, it's being fought with rockets and air planes; in other places, it's being waged with guns and knives; in still other places, the battle is to stay afloat financially, or to stay sane when the pressures are mounting daily. Whatever war we happen to be fighting, or caught up in, there is only one way to win it: we need to work on ourselves, and to fix what we need to fix, with Hashem's help. Even when we find ourselves in the toughest times, and the hardest circumstances, G-d is still very close to us. He's right here, ready to listen to us at any moment, night and day. He wants to retract all the severity and strictness that He's pumping out into the world. Let's remember that G-d's main characteristic is love and kindness, but when we don't listen, then He has to up the ante. The wake up calls get bigger and louder, until we all recognize that if nothing changes, then nothing changes - and G-d forbid, then everything could change very suddenly and dramatically, because we're refused to respond to G-d's messages, or pay them any attention.
Dr. Zev Ballen