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Home » High Holidays, Miscellaneous

New Year Greeting 5765: The Rising Price of Gas

Submitted by on September 12, 2004 – 8:00 pmNo Comment | 4,899 views

Oil Tesheuvah and the New Year

We live in an age of internationally rising consumption, which is in turn driving the price of crude oil to unprecedented heights. Our fear of quickly diminishing yet finite oil reserves is only compounded by the threat of instability in the Middle East.

In short, high demand, low refinery capacity, and instability in the Middle East are causing the price of crude oil to rise sky high. The response has been threefold.

OPEC’s response has been to raise (or at least to promise to raise) production and if necessary to uncap new wells. The government’s response has been to (promise to) invest in new refinery capacity. The consumer’s response has been to reduce demand.

As Rosh Hashanah approaches we reflect upon this to glean an insight into our relationship with G-d. G-d and the Jewish people share a loving relationship. A finite number of Mitzvos, namely 613, are the energy source that fuels this relationship.

When we regularly execute the Mitzvos our relationship flourishes and grows. Our transgressions, however, place great demand on the relationship, as every sin weakens the bond yet we expect to be treated with the same measure of love. In other words we consume more than we produce.

Our response must be threefold.

  1. First we must increase production or at least make sincere resolutions in this regard. This means to undertake new Mitzvos that will fuel our relationship.This effort is facilitated through tapping into new potential reserves and digging new wells. Through the of research new possibilities and expanding the horizon of our relationship.When an oil
    well is depleted the prospector must dig deeper in order to find a source, as of yet untapped, and refill the empty well. So too, in a relationship. When a friendship is violated, and the love depleted, the friends must tap into a new and deeper bond between them in order to justify the continuance of the relationship. This is the essence of
    Teshuva. In sin our relationship with G-d fails. We must dig deep down into the well of our
    hearts to find new intensity, yet untapped. We must find the dimension of our soul that has remained faithful even in sin, and thus spark a renewal of our love.
    We must uncap new wells. We must unearth new energy sources by reaching into
    the deepest chamber of our core to bring out the pure and incorruptible essence that forms the basis of our continued relationship.
  2. Second, we must increase refinery capacity. We must engage in introspective self-reflection with an aim towards refining our character. Mitzvos are G-d-centered sins are self-centered. Turning from a self-centered worldview to a G-d centered worldview is a humbling and incredibly character refining experience.
  3. Third, we must reduce consumption. Facing the ego suspending truth of a G-d centered world places into perspective the demands we place upon G-d. We expect much but offer little. This humbling experience allows us to trust in G-d with absolute faith, which will in turn sustain us even in difficult times.

May we all merit increased production, increased refinery capacity and new sources of spiritual energy. May we decrease our demand but G-d increase our consumption through a shower of blessing and love. May He grant us a good year filled with happiness, health and the ability to
enjoy it.

Shannah Tovah