Couch Surfing Wipeout
by Rabbi Aron Moss
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I have been homeless for a month now. The lease on my apartment expired, the place I wanted to move into fell through at the last minute, so I searched and searched and came up with nothing. After a frazzling week of sleeping in my car I found myself "couch-surfing" and relying on friends. I am a self-reliant and independent guy who never needed anyone, so this is torture. I still have my faith in G-d that has kept me sane, and I know things will work out. But it's taking a bit too long what does He want from me?
Sounds like you are going through a time of flux. Not sure where you are going, what to try next. This can be frustrating and exhausting.
And yet, it is important to know that being temporarily homeless is also cleansing. It shakes off the dust that has gathered on your soul. That's why Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden after the sin, Cain was banished after killing his brother Abel, and the Jewish people were exiled from their homeland to wander the world when the Temple was destroyed. In all these cases, the trauma of misplacement served as a means of shaking away negative energy.
But not only evildoers need exile. We even find great tzaddikim - holy souls and saintly individuals - who chose to roam from city to city, having to depend on the kindness of others, for they too sought the cleansing power of homelessness. Exile is not always a punishment. It may be a gift.
I am not saying it is a walk in the park to sleep in the park. But needing a little help from your friends can certainly build character. The humility that it takes to be on the receiving end of others' goodwill can sometimes do more for your spirit than being the giver.
This is most challenging for an independent free spirit. But maybe that's exactly what you need to learn, the ability to receive and the humility to be helped.
The only way to get out of your exile is by getting out of it what you are supposed to get out of it, then you'll get out of it. Get it? I hope you get there soon.