11 Cheshvan 5782 / Sunday, October 17, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Gazing in the Distance    

Gazing in the Distance

Tzalaii’s second and third days in the time tunnel are spent in a beach setting, where he is recuperating by trying to get to know his inner self once again…


Warriors of Transcendence, Part 41
The second day:
Once again, he sits with his back to me. This time he is not atop a high cliff, but on the seashore, gazing into the distance. Why does he always gaze into the distance? What is he trying to see there, in the open sea? His proud stance immediately agitates me. True, at the end of our last encounter I felt admiration towards him, but why is he so arrogant?  Perhaps I am mistaken, perhaps he is not arrogant. When I look at him from a distance, sitting in the sand, adorned in his golden cloak, I suddenly recall my trial and the king's cloak. I am shocked to discover it is identical to the cloak he is wearing now. Yes, my use of the cloak in the tower was a grave mistake. Does this account for his great anger? Is it because the king's cloak remained in the Tower? But during the trial, I wore it without arrogance!
Full of curiosity, I call to him. A multitude of questions storm my brain and my heart, all part of the same puzzle, painful yet intriguing: Who am I? And who is he? He himself is the answer. "Tzalaii"
I get closer to him. Will he turn to me? And what will his glance convey this time? Resistance between us is dissolving.
"You are beginning to understand," I realize. I understand that Tzalaii is speaking to me. He continues, in my thoughts: "I am not arrogant. Everything is reversed in your imagination."
I glance at him again and discover that although his stature is royal and upright, he is completely modest and submissive, precise and simple. He is so beautiful! I love him so much! If only he would grant me a glance! If only he would speak to me and accept me as his disciple! I would do anything for him! How am I to acquire his trust?
"Tzalaii," I say repeatedly, and he turns his head slightly. He points to the right, an undecipherable expression on his face. On the beach, in the distance, I notice a large tent. It is composed of a transparent blue cloth, and the light of day shines through it, illuminating its interior. Is he sending me there? I desire his closeness and have no interest in any manner of mission.
"Very well," I say to myself and to him, "If you so desire."
I turn around and begin to walk in the sand towards the tent.
As I approach the tent, it appears to be larger than I originally thought it was. The penetrating light is a soft blue, and the transparent cover gleams in the sun. Inside, a small group of serenely calm people sit on large cushions. The floor is covered in majestic colorful carpets, and the aroma of medicinal herbs and incense permeates the air. In the southern corner of the tent, a boy in white garb sits cross-legged and speaks His eyes are good and pleasant. No one senses my approach and I am not noticed even as I stand at the entrance. They are completely engrossed, listening attentively to the speaker.
"Boundaries," says the speaker, "are prone to change. Look at the waves crashing upon the shore." 
I realize how close the tent is to the water.
"The waves wash over the shore, conquering more and more sandy regions, time and time again," he says in a melodious voice. "The boundaries of the sea are constantly changing, sometimes exposing the tip of a rock hidden under water, other times covering and concealing them. But the constant interplay, the obscure struggle between the sand and the sea, is eternal. Every wave that conquers a piece of land, every grain of sand that is repeatedly purified, symbolizes the great conquest, the total and final purification that shall eventually change the boundaries completely."

I find myself feeling overwhelmed for no apparent reason. The boy is silent now. Some of the men play musical instruments. One beats a small drum, another sways wind chimes, and a third plays a delicate tune on a stringed instrument. The melody lures me into the tent as if with magical ropes. I enter and look at the people inside. Up close, I am able to see the face of the boy who is dressed in white. His eyes express a joyous elation I have never before seen.  I am frightened and open my eyes.


The third day:
I am on the beach again. Tzalaii is gazing at the sea, like before. But this time, he turns around as soon as I call his name. Is it just my imagination, or do the traces of a smile appear on his face? He still refrains from speaking to me. He motions with his hand for me to sit by his side on the beach. Eagerly, I sit beside him. He points towards the depth of the sea and whispers one word to me. This is the first time I have heard his voice! It is stable, authoritative and loving. "Look,” he says.
I raise my eyes towards the horizon. Fog blurs the boundaries of the sea and the sky, casting a turquoise blue-gray color on the scene.   I concentrate on the colors, but Tzalaii's closeness is more important to me than the distant horizon. Next to him I feel so safe and protected, as though I have returned home after many years of waiting.
I have a deep desire to touch his hand, to express my adoration towards him. Suddenly, I want only to serve him, I want him to acknowledge me and love me. A swarm of feelings encompasses me. Still gazing into the horizon, I reach out and touch the palm of his hand resting upon his knee. It radiates so much heat!
"Tzalaii" I whisper.
The sun begins to set over the water, casting a reddish glow. An ancient covenant has been reborn.
"From now on I shall be there with you and for you. I shall never leave your side," his hand seems to say. "But what are you truly willing to do for me?" he asks.

Sadness is present in his voice and the magic suddenly ends. Does he not trust me? This question is so disconcerting to me that I have no choice but to open my eyes.   
To be continued.
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