Olympics. Able bodies, arms, legs, moving like well-oiled pistons. Strength and muscle exhibited as the runner gains mile after mile until – finally – exultation – a cross of the finish line.
Special Olympics. A test more grueling, almost ugly to watch in the clenched determination to make it to the finish line despite obstacles and pain. A cripple with only one leg hobbles past, compensating with implements. Another one, on two crutches, teeters along determinedly. One mile, he gains. Then, wham – a screw gives on one crutch and he lands flat out. You cheer him on as he gets up and keeps going, now with only one crutch. He’s got only a few more yards left when, bam, he’s down on the ground again. You hold your breath. Will he give up now? Grimacing, yet happy in an odd way to persevere, he begins to crawl. Inch by torturous inch he pulls himself until – finally –exultation – he makes it, barely, but he makes it, across the finish line.
We Jews, we’re running the Special Olympics in history right now. Used to be our forefathers ran forward, ably. Yaakov wrestled that angel with force and might. He held that evil force down until dawn wiped away the danger. We, however, we teeter about trying to compensate for our vast emotional and spiritual disabilities. One day, then another. Pushing through life, we must live true to our mission no matter how torturous the strain on our soul might feel. Every muscle aches with the effort. Push on, past the Holocaust. Stumble on past the hypocritical leaders who were exposed as shams. Keep running the course despite the confusion. Teeter, wobble, get up again or even crawl. It is just a few short yards now to the finish line. The final epoch is soon unfolding.
C’mon, onwards, because soon, for those who continued running the good race, it will soon be time for exultation. If we teeter onwards, we’ll make it across that finish line! Hold steady until “alos haShachar” until dawn wipes away the pain.