Driving Through a Snowstorm by Michael Winner/11/18/2021 My son, the other night, went to play soccer with a few friends. When they sat down on a bench, they found underneath something that they figured was drugs, while not knowing exactly what drugs were. So, naturally, being Israeli with no sense of embarrassment, they called the police (after all, why call your parents?). The officer on the phone asked a few questions, determined that they were correct, and sent an officer over. The officer came, asked them a few questions, took their names, explained to them that they were correct, and told them to call again if they see anybody looking for it.Of course, not long after, somebody came looking for it.And of course, they called.The police returned, and as the officer approached, with a hand on his weapon, the suspect took off.They received a hearty thanks from the police and a great story to tell their friends and family the next day.It's a good story, but not as good as a friend of mine when he was a kid. He found a whole box full of drugs from a dealer. He turned it over to his father and the police. The next week, the dealer, not learning his lesson, placed more drugs in the same place. My friend and his brother took it and turned it over. The dealer was found dead in his car two days later, after accidently driving into some bullets that were minding their own business.That was my friend's contribution to the war on drugs.Okay, on to Torah!This week, a thought on the parsha occurred to me. And then I saw something in my learning, which worked well with that thought. So, let's see how it goes.In the beginning of this week's parsha, Yaakov meets and fights with Eisav's "guardian angel." Rashi brings an opinion that the fight resulted with "dust being kicked up, that rose to the Heavens."Anybody who has driven through a sandstorm or snowstorm knows the immense difficulty seeing what's around you. And this epic battle, between Yaakov and Eisav, between the Jewish nation and that of Western Civilization, is being described in such a way. Perhaps this hints towards the type of battle that we, as a nation, have found ourselves in over the past 150 years or so.The Chofetz Chaim, amongst others, have commented that the times we are living in qualify as the "birthpangs of Moshiach." While we never know when he will come, we do know that this period in world history is a time of "active labor."From the time of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, until the Enlightenment, the Jewish people had gone from exile to exile, doing whatever they could to remain and grow as Jews. However, around 150 years ago, things began to change. Today, most Jews don't know what Judaism is. It's worse, in fact. Some Jews believe that Judaism is whatever the Democrats say. And some Jews believe that Judaism is whatever the Republicans say. Some make up their own "Judaism" to fit into their personal view of the world. Some write their twisted views on their blogs. Some on the radio. Some in the (even religious) newspapers. Some of these people are secular and some call themselves religious. Whether secular or religious, there is an ever-growing amount of confusion on what exactly Hashem wants from us, both on a national and personal level.When driving through a sandstorm, one must drive slowly and careful to get safely to his destination. His focus cannot be on what's ahead a mile away or what's around him. Rather the driver's attention is on the few feet ahead of him, and that's it. Any distraction could lead to a tragic accident.So, too, our spiritual attention, as hard as it is, must be focused on simply what's a few feet ahead of us at this moment. While usually it is good to think long-term and to plan around, there are times when one simply cannot do so.I saw in a sefer written by Rav Yaakov Meir Schechter, the following:"Practically speaking, until a person knows, with G-d's help, exactly what his path is meant to be, he should follow the Mishna's simple advice: 'Whatever is harmonious with the person and elicits beauty from the person.' The Bartenura comments on this: 'It should be pleasant for him, and others should be pleased with him. This is the middle way.'"This is the lesson of our generation. We live in a time of great darkness, both in society and in the individual. Doubt and confusion accompany our every step, and few of us know exactly what to do."The answer is to act simply: pray, study Torah with fear of G-d, work to improve one's character, and fulfill the mitzvos. A person must hold his ground and not become confused, and even if he does not yet recognize his place, or his unique G-d-given talents. He should do those things that are obvious to him and, by fulfilling what he knows, the rest will become clear…."The lesson is simple and clear. When the fight between the Jewish nation and Eisav heats up, it's a time of great confusion, not just for the world, but for the Jewish people as well. The only thing a person can do is shut out as many of those distractions from his life, and settle into learning, davening, and mitzvos, on a level that is most pleasant to him.