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Elul 24: Help me, Obi-Wan ... (Hope)

When I think of hope, I think about Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi ... two old battle-weary creatures for whom hope died off years ago.

I wonder what it was like to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, the great Jedi master, the hope and salvation for a planet about to be destroyed by evil. A hunted man, when we first meet up with Obi-Wan Kenobi, he's living incognito as "Ben Kenobi" in exile on Tatooine.

You'd think (given that he's a Jedi) that he'd have been aware of Leia's desperation, of Luke's innocently creating a "disturbance in the Force." Maybe he's lost some of his Force-type spirituality. Or maybe he is aware and doesn't care, worn out after years of being chased by Darth Vader & Co. I'm guessing that he and Yoda, apparently the last surviving Jedi, don't get together for coffee very often.

Obi-Wan, tired of the whole thing, just wants to be left alone to eventually fade into oblivion. He used to be strong, young, and powerful; now he's just a shell of a man who's watched his value system, once the most powerful in the world, die out like an ember. He's seen young kids with so much potential come into his life. Maybe he taught them and exposed them to values and secrets so powerful as to boggle their minds. And he watched them lose interest as they decide that sports (or such) are way more valuable than some old mumbo jumbo, as they buy into the secular world, no time in their lives for spirituality and religion. Can't make a living off the Force, right?

It takes a young man, an innocent who only knows that some really pretty girl is in trouble and that some inside nudge is making him desperate to leave the family farm, to get "Old Ben Kenobi" back into action. Obi-Wan takes the risk, placing his life in jeopardy to help mentor this young man who reminds him of what he used to be.

I'd like to think that we could all be an Obi-Wan, taking a chance on a new generation of Jews after years of disappointment and grind.

May the Force be with you.



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