On Aivhan

February 26, 2010
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Though I have seen many examples of men who must have felt it, I have found no language on earth that has a concept like ours of a?vhan. Perhaps the best equivalent is “overcoming”, but a?vhan is so much more than that. It is an overcoming of suffering, by embracing it in the way of men whose eyes. It is a connection between God and man. It is a feeling of all pure emotion all at once. It is a defiance of darkness. It is a force of nature, that can turn men into something higher, greater, stronger. It turns men into warriors. It is the ultimate fulfillment of human existence.

Let me describe to you a?vhan, through what I have seen. I saw my enemies charging, and they were just about to crash upon my shield. I knew I couldn't win, and when I fell, they would rape my sisters, and kill my brothers, and burn everything I love to ashes. I knew I was so weak, and my courage and strength had flown. The bravest thing I had was hope, and then even that was gone.

So I reached out my hand to heaven, and screamed to the sky, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity! Why, oh my God, why?"

And God himself reached out his hand, and grabbed mine so desperately extended. And He said to me, "I'm here. I won't let go. Everything will be okay, my son. Your work on this earth is not done yet. I'll give you the strength of hope. Be strong! Believe!

"Oh how I wish your small mind could wrap itself around the infinite beauty of what you do this day! Oh I wish you could understand the reason why, for its splendor and richness and meaning is infinite. But if is not for you to know, my child. Know that I know. Know I am enough. Know that everything will be made right. Take heart, and fight with the strength of a man who dares to hope!"

There is little way to describe to you, dear fellow men who walk this earth, the feeling then, the feeling of God's own encouragement. How can I describe it! All at once I heard thunder over the horizon, and I saw a flash of lightning far out to sea, and I felt the cool breeze caress my cheek, and I smelled the air so full of the ambrosia smell of rain. I knew a storm was coming to heal a broken land. My heart overflowed with love for everything behind me and anger at everything in front of me. My heart broke with sadness at the brokenness of everything, and nothing, and rejoiced that in this suffering cup, for in this I would shine my light before men, that they would see my good deeds and praise God in heaven. I have felt no greater love than when I stood there, and stood there to fight and perhaps to die for everyone behind me. I have felt no purer rage than when I fought those who wished to desecrate and destroy what I so loved. I have felt no more solid peace than when there I stood, standing against alone against an army, my only hope in my God that then held my soul. Every fiber of my being turned into that rock of God that the raging seas nor howling winds nor magic nor even Time itself can break. The dark wave broke upon my shield. For a second all was silent.

The first drop of rain graced my cheek and joined the stream of tears I did not know I cried, as the rock does not feel the gentle flow across it's face. Something snapped, and mere matter could not contain the power that crackled inside. A power greater than nature itself. And then, all the dark sea crashed upon me, as the black ocean crashes upon those golden cliffs at Ailon, but as the ocean cannot break those cliffs so could that dark army not overcome me. Not wind nor fire nor wrath of devils nor vengeance of men could overcome me. In that instant, that moment, I overcame it all, and I gained a glimpse of what is higher.

Beloved, whatever happens, remember that we are called to higher things because we have seen glimpses of heaven. We have seen a mere distant, faint light, as a sailor sees the light of a faraway lighthouse on a dark, foggy night. We have seen a impression of a place where we will forever feel emotion that would break a feeble human heart. Have courage, my brothers! Do not let your hearts be led astray by the feeble pleasures of this world. Do not be weak-hearted fools, chasing after women and drunkenness and gluttony. You are not meant to be deprived of sex and drink and food, except when higher things call for it, but do not be so easily pleased. Dare to hope for the higher things that God himself has promised you. Aivhan is one of the three virtues of the Eliav, to be lived at all times, and this for a reason. Aivhan varies in degrees, and is in some sense a constant overcoming, a constant looking towards God and the pleasures of heaven.

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