If Only

Photo: Yehoshua Halevi

Photo: Yehoshua Halevi

I was dreaming . . .

If only I had an opportunity to think, really just sit and think, without the pressing weight of obligations;

If only I had the ability to put out of my mind, really empty it, of financial and business concerns;

If only I could spend some time with my family on a regular basis;

If only I could forget, even temporarily, the teacher, competitor or detractor who causes me grief;

If only I could escape the insistent ringing of the telephone, not just when I’m out, or when I think it’s safe or necessary to turn on my answering machine, but periodically;

If only I could figure out who I really am, what makes a difference to me, could steadily re-evaluate life’s direction without being flaky;

If only I could sense something of the beauty of this world, not just occasionally on a vacation or ski trip, but regularly, without feeling guilty for stealing the time or for lacking the discipline to do what I am supposed to;

If only I could sleep soundly, truly without a care in the world;

If only I could plug into the deeper layers of existence, the uniqueness of just being alive;

If only I could look out at the world and feel completely at harmony with it;

If only I could add a dimension to my existence, by increasing my ability to sing or dance or listen or laugh;

If only I could shake the depression and self-doubt that sometimes grips me;

If only I could feel at one with people, unconcerned about whether I am better or more successful or respected than they are, or whether they are better or more successful or respected than I;

If only I could be convinced that there is a design, a purpose to this crazy world of ours, with its wars and jealousies and sicknesses and other sufferings;

If only I could get things into perspective, know what is important, worth bothering about, and what is unimportant, not worth bothering about;

If only I could unravel the meaning within life’s mysteries, could know whether they reigned within a larger Mystery;

If only?

I need not dream.

All my dreams are available.


Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, PhD, executive editor of the Intermountain Jewish News, finds Shabbat to be an irrefutable proof of God’s existence.

Excerpted from the Jewish Action article “Shabbos: Judaism’s Priceless Treasure.”


This article was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Jewish Action.