A Hand to Hold

In one of his books, Rabbi Harold Kushner tells a story about going to the beach for vacation. While sitting on the beach one beautiful summer day, he watched two children playing in the sand. They worked hard building an elaborate sandcastle by the water’s edge. The sandcastle had gates, towers, and even a moat. When they had nearly finished their project, a big wave came along and knocked it down, reducing it to a heap of wet sand. Rabbi Kushner expected the children to burst into tears, devastated by what had happened to all their hard work. But they surprised him. Instead of crying, they held each other’s hand, laughed a big belly laugh, and sat down to build another sandcastle.

Rabbi Kushner said he learned an important lesson from those children that day. All the things in our lives, all the complicated structures we spent so much time and energy creating, are built on sand. Sooner or later a wave will come along and knock down what we have worked so hard to build up. And when that happens, only the person who has somebody’s hand to hold will be able to laugh and rebuild.