When the Prophet Ezekiel was shown all the dry, dead bones in the valley, and God asks him:
‘Son of man, can these dried out, completely lifeless bits of dead people come back to life again?’
Ezekiel tells God –
‘You’re the only One Who can decide that stuff, Hashem!’
So, I’ve been pondering techiyat hameitim, or the revival of the dead, and I’ve come to realize – it’s us.
You and me. And all the other people walking around technically alive, on the outside, but dried out and dead on the inside.
People are so stuck in their phones, and their emails, and their internet because they’re looking for a connection. But the connection we all really need that’s going to revive us, and bring our souls and hearts back to life, can’t be found online.
That vision that Ezekiel had, it happened in Silicon Valley.
The Prophet was shown a picture of all these soul-dead, despairing people wasting their lives commenting on Facebook posts and obsessively checking Arutz 7 every two minutes for the ‘latest’ updates about stuff that mostly is completely irrelevant, and then God asked him:
‘Ezekiel, can all of these people step out of their technological prisons, and re-connect to themselves, and their souls, and other people again? Can they have real conversations about real stuff with real people, without having a panic attack and running away? Can they invite guests for Shabbat again? Can they tell their mum, their wife, their kid that they really love them? Can they stop hiding behind email and text and develop bona fide relationships with real flesh-and-blood people again?”
And Ezekiel took a long, hard look at all those internally dead people in Silicon Valley, and he shrugged his shoulders and said:
‘I have no idea if that’s possible, at this stage, Hashem! Everyone is so used to hiding behind their gadgets these days, reconnecting to themselves, and You, and other people would require an open miracle.’
What does God say after that?
He tells Ezekiel to speak to the ‘bones’, and they start to come together – but they’re still internally dead and all dried out. So then God Himself tells the ‘ruach’ to come from all four directions of the world, and to revive these people.
Do you know what ‘ruach’ is, really?
It’s the second soul level that’s directly connected to our emotions. And that’s the bit that’s completely dessicated, dead and AWOL in 2017. People are scared to feel what they really feel. To say what they really think. To try to connect to the people they really want to connect to. To love the people they really care for.
To be themselves.
And that’s the bit that the rabbis and the prophets can’t do for us, even though they can weld us back together as a people, as a nation, as Jews. The ruach, the emotion, that bit’s going to come directly from Hashem.
And straight after these ‘dead bones’ get their emotions back, we get achdut, unity and connection, and then Ezekiel’s stunning vision of peace:
“I will make them into ONE nation in the land…and ONE king will be a king for them…there will be ONE shepherd for all of them…I will be a God to them and they will be a people to Me. Then the nations will know that I am Hashem, Who sanctifies Israel.”
That’s what we’re all really yearning for, isn’t it? And not just the wi-fi version.