Posted by: R Jonathan Gewirtz | April 19, 2009

In Plane Sight

After a hiatus for Pesach, I’m back. This is a thought I had on Shabbos about two weeks ago.

I was walking to shul and noticed a plane moving very quickly across the sky. Other times, I noted, we see planes flying very slowly, as if they are almost not moving. What’s the difference?

The answer is that the plane flying “quicker” is just flying at a much lower altitude so its motion is more noticeable. The plane that flies higher is actually moving much faster but we can’t see it because of the distance.

It made me think about something. We often wonder why HaShem isn’t doing anything about world problems, people who should be rewarded, punished, etc. Of course, it’s ridiculous for us to ask these things because of perception of world events is limited to a brief finite glimpse in time.

However, the airplane incident made me think about this: We stand on earth and watch events unfold. They seem to happen very quickly. That’s because they’re low and close to the ground.

Meanwhile, the Master of the World has already had His works in motion long before what we see, transcending much further distances, places, and times. We don’t perceive it though because He is so far above our comprehension.

We can adjust our attitudes by taking into account His altitude.

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