Thank Goodness we don’t live in the Northeast!

A Snow Story


Many of us watched as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and the entire Northeast corridor was slammed with a serious snowstorm this past weekend. Some newscasters described it as Snowmageddon!

It reminded me of a “snow event” many years ago.

I was a student rabbi, flying every two weeks from Cincinnati, OH, to Ishpeming, MI. The weather report had called for snow on Sunday but I was hopeful I could make my plane and miss the expected 12″ inches. After Religious School, I headed to the airport. However, the snow had already started. By the time I got there, the airport had closed.

I called a congregant, who offered me a place to stay for the night.

That “night” turned into 48 hours. For instead of 12″ of snow (on top of their already 3′ of snow), the area got 40″ of additional accumulation. I was stuck in my congregant’s home for two full days.

Once the snow stopped, I opened the front door. The snow drift was taller than the door. The same for all the windows and for the garage. I asked my congregant: “How do we get out?”

His response?

“See this shovel and see that indentation in the snow just beyond the back door? I shovel out a tunnel to the street, and throw the snow out through that hole that I had previously dug out. There is no way to get over the snow. You just have to get through it.”

There is no way to get over it. You just have to get through it.

What a marvelous lesson. All of us have struggles. Some are major. Some are minor. But we all have them. For many of them and for many of us, the struggles seem insurmountable, that we just can get over them. That’s how we feel when a loved one dies. It’s what we experience when we struggle with health issues. That’s where my congregant’s advice comes in handy. We may not – we probably can’t – get over it. What we can do, though, is get through it…to tunnel our way through…to dig through the dirt and grime of whatever it is with which we struggle. Eventually – eventually – we make it through the tunnel to the other side. We see the light. And when we do, we know there is hope.

So, while we are (hopefully) blessed with good weather and no “Snowmageddon” in the coming weeks, let us remember the lesson of the snow: We may not be able to get over what troubles us. But with work and diligence, we can get through it