Light and shadow continues

Purim in prison: once again, we head north to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility to celebrate Purim and read Megilat Esther with the women there. When we enter, we’re informed that there is a package for ‘us’: the New York Board of Rabbis generously and so timely send a box of mishloach manot for the inmates. But the mitzvah is to give mishloach manot, not receive! What shall we do?? After the fun megillah reading (somehow, we are “more free” in prison to give it our all), and even some singing and dancing, we each take one package. This one is now “mine”. While the water is heating in the kettle, we walk around the room handing it to one another. We exchange them again and again in utmost seriousness: “please, take this, and have a very happy Purim; no, no, I want you to have it. This is for you”. Then we sit to share Torah, sipping coffee and munching on hamantashen. For a few moments, the whole world blurs. There is only this one room, and this group of women and a magical story of hope and a brighter tomorrow.
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Purim & KiPurim; Esther & Moshe
On Yom Kippur we recite the 13 attributes of G-d; the same attributes which originally appear in this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, which is usually read right near Purim (Exodus 34:6-7):

ו וַיַּעֲבֹר ה’ עַל-פָּנָיו, וַיִּקְרָא, ה’ ה’, אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן–אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם, וְרַב-חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed: ‘The LORD, the LORD, God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth;
ז נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים, נֹשֵׂא עָוֺן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה; וְנַקֵּה, לֹא יְנַקֶּה–פֹּקֵד עֲוֺן אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים וְעַל-בְּנֵי בָנִים, עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים. 7 keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.’

Are there exactly “13”? What exactly do we count? Does it matter? Does G-d really have only “13 attributes” and?? No more??
The numerical value of 13 is equal to – אהבה – ahava – Love, and אחד – echad – One (as at the end of the Shma). The Oneness has many aspects, but it is, ultimately, One.
There is a danger in defining G-d in “positive terms”, what G-d is, as if there are things that G-d is not. That’s where the Purim story comes in, a whole Biblical book without G-d. Or perhaps, where G-d is everywhere that there is no need to set limits.
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Haman casts “lots”, goralot, to determine the Jews’ destiny. It seems alien to us: deciding things with “lots”? but that’s what Aaron, the high priest does – on Yom Kippur.
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Each holiday in our calendar is connected to a Biblical hero: Pesach – Abraham; Shavuot – Isaac etc. There are hints to Hanukkah is the work of the high priest lighting the menorah. But what about Purim? Purim is Moses’ holiday. And some of the parallels are in this week’s reading, when we read about the fallout of the Golden Calf, otherwise known as “elohei masecha”, a “masked” G-d, or Moses himself putting on a “covering” to hide his shining face (revealing himself in that great effort to hide…).
Esther & Moshe: both spent significant time in a palace, in a foreign land; both initially refuse to take the task they are called on, and even once they do, don’t reveal their ancestry. They are leaders outside of the Land of Israel, and both watched by an older relative: Mordechai “patrolling” outside the palace, just like Miriam who watches Moshe floating on the river.
There is a complicated story about Moses traveling into the future, and seeing Rabbi Akiva’s great learning as well as tragic death. When he asks about it, Hashem says, seemingly roughly, “Hush, this is how I see it”. Esther too, deals with silence. Her all survival depends initially, not on what she does or says, but on being quiet, and not revealing who she really is. But then there is time to speak, just like for Moses, for whom speech is especially difficult.
There is a time for silence and a time for speech. Some things can be learned through silence that can never be perceived through words. Purim is the noisiest holiday we have, and yet, the important layers are all underneath. Moses wrote the whole Torah, and yet, following the Golden Calf incidence in this week’s reading, he asks G-d to “blot me out of Your book which You write” (Exodus 32:32).
Purim is over, but the play of light and shadows continues.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Dressing up!

What is it about our clothing? For the High Priest in this week’s Torah portion, תצוה Tetzave, it is quite a production with 8 pieces of garments he was to wear when serving in the Mishkan and later, in the Temple.
Since G-d could have done anything, why were humans created without a fur, which would have been especially useful to me today in the lingering cold of NYC? However, even in places where the weather is perfect, we (humans) still wear something, if minimal. Early on, Adam and the Woman were naked. There was no shame and no covering needed. Then they made for themselves belts of fig leaves, which must have been somewhat flimsy. And the first set of “real clothing” were “garments made of skin” – or leather, given to them by G-d before the departure from Eden.
The Hebrew word for clothing – ב.ג.ד. – begged – is unique as it is made of the three consecutive letters: ב.ג.ד. bet, gimmel, dalet, the 2nd, 3rd & 4th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Where is the first, the א alef? The silent alef, which is often “G-d’s letter, is hidden. Our clothing can help us be who we are, as well as hide and present a false shell.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the influence of clothing on students. Those of us who served in any type of uniform, might find this interesting: Rabbi Hirsch connects ב.ג.ד. b.g.d. with פ.ק.ד. p.k.d, which he defines as “invest with purpose or responsibility”. From this root we create פקודה “pkuda”, an order or army command; and מפקד mefaked, a commander. Alternatively, if one does not fulfill their responsibility such as a soldier who “ditches” base, s/he will call נפקד “nifkad”, absent from fulfilling his appointment.
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The Shabbat before Purim is known as שבת זכור – Shabbat Zachor – “Shabbat Remember”. It is when we read the instruction to remember what Amalek “did to you, on the way, when we left Egypt” (Deuteronomy 25:17). How is the journey from Egypt connect to the megillah? And what’s the meaning of a commandment to remember?
The latter, and we have a few (“remember Shabbat”!) implies that there might be a desire or tendency to forget (remember to take the keys!!…). Why would we forget Amalek? Who is Amalek?? Originally, they descended from Esau, Jacob’s brother, and were nomadic people who lived in Southern Canaan. In our history they are famous for sneaking up on us and attacking us “from behind” in the desert, while we are in transition, “on the way” (Exodus 17:8-16). Ever since, they became associated as the powers that weaken us. Our sages teach that the gematria (numerical value) of Amalek is equal to the Hebrew word safek, doubt. Amalek are not a head-on enemy, as is the element of doubt in our life. It is not always obviously bad; The plain bad we can recognize and fight. This is different. it’s that… well… you know… I don’t know… maybe… I’m not sure… then again… undermining things quietly, “from behind”.
In the Purim story, Haman is described as an Agagite (Esther 3:1), and Agag was the Amalekite king earlier on (Samuel I, 15). It’s unclear if Haman was a biological descendant or more an ideological one, or both. What’s important is how to combat this kind of energy. Interestingly, the one who fights it is Esther, and her method? No weapons and military tricks but “Go assemble all the Jews…” (Esther 4:16).
Purim could have been long forgotten, but the megillah survived. Maybe it comes to remind us that while Hamans will appear on our history stage, and we can’t prevent them from showing up, there is something we might be able to do about them. They can be overcome through our unity as a people. This means we look out for each other, the strong and weak, which really is each and every one of us at different moments along the journey. This also explains why each one of the mitzvot associated with Purim is geared towards our togetherness – giving mishloach manot (baskets of goodies) or gifts to the poor. Unity does not mean we all do the same thing all the time or agree on everything, but there’s enough commonality to maintain our “peoplehood”. The Shabbat of Remember is just that – re-member and reconnect with each and every one.

Shabbat Shalom.

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Celebrating Confusion

The Torah portion of Teruma seems like quite the opposite of upcoming holiday of Purim (more below): there’s a list of materials and clear instructions how to build something very precise and specific. And still, even there, where everything is “obvious”, if we look underneath the surface, we’ll see it: the temporary is permanent, and the permanent – temporary. Take the Ark, for example: solid wood and “travelable”. Or the Menora made of solid gold – with blossoms.
Rashi in his commentary to Exodus 25:9 says on the verse’s ending – “and so you shall do” – ‘for generations (ledorot – לדורות)’ = forever. How could he say that, challenge other commentators? By the his time, the Tabernacle = Mishkan – משכן was long gone and event both Temples were destroyed. What could he mean by ‘do this for generations’? it can’t possibly be “this” – this exact building, but maybe do this – “a” place. Our materials, design and location might be different; that is all secondary. After all, the first one was mobile and in a desert, but making space for G-d in our life, is something we should always strive to do.

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The day before Rosh Hodesh Adar, horrific headlines fill the news of yet another school shooting, leaving at least 17, mostly young people, dead and who knows how many deeply wounded, physically, emotionally and spiritually. On top of the obvious, we wonder, “Davka today? Don’t we say, mishenichnas Adar, marbim besimcha, when Adar begins, we increase our joy”?
Rabbi Sharki of Machon Meir in Jerusalem teaches that Adar, the month of Purim, is the saddest month of the year. Wait, not The month of Av, with the destruction of the Temple and all its calamities? But, rather, Adar, because this is the time we encourage ourselves and others to “increase joy”, and we only tell someone to “cheer up” when we’re sad.
Why are we sad? Purim is such an exciting holiday!! Eh, for kids. Maybe. As we grow up, the intense confusion and discomfort of the day, is easily felt. We can’t decide who “we’ll be”; we can’t tell who is who – which in some places can offer not only a “discomfort”, but a real risk of safe and security. We can’t tell where G-d is; who’s good and who’s bad. The story also brings no comfort. It starts bad, gets worse and ends up well, bad, not good and definitely not great.
It’s the only book that takes place fully in “chutz-la’aretz”, outside of Israel. We’re in a place where we have little to no control over what’s going on. We are subject to the whims of a weak king and his envious advisor. The clear voice of G-d which is so present in every book of the bible, directing us this way and that, is absent. Attack can come from everywhere; defense is in the most unlikely places. No one behaves as expected: take, for example, the minor case of Mordechai telling about the plot of Bigtan & Teresh to get rid of the king. Imagine, G-d forbid, if our dearest person was captured and taken against her will to be the wife of a powerful, corrupt man we dislike. Now we hear that someone wants to get rid of him. Shouldn’t it be good?? Why is Mordecha saving the person who holds Esther?
Wherever we turn, there is chaos. And all this is exasperated by excessive drinking, loud noise and general mayhem.
How are we to make sense of this story and actually enjoy this day which some say is as holy as Yom Kippur (“KiPurim” literally means “like Purim”)?

The Talmud teaches that “Haman” was already mentioned in the Torah. Where? The easiest source would be “haman” – the manna in Exodus, but that’s not where the Talmud is going. It brings us a verse from the Book of Genesis (3:11): …המן העץ אשר צויתיך did you eat from the tree I commanded not to? asks G-d. Why choose this verse which is barely remotely resembling Haman – using only the letters of the word hamin?
The verse is also strange because it has G-d asking a question. Why should G-d ask questions? Doesn’t He know what’s going on? The serpent of the Garden of Eden mixes and blurs facts with fiction leading to mistakes, fights and separation . This is also Haman’s role in the megillah: Haman is considered part of Amalek, and we saw Amalek do just that only a few Torah portions ago, by launching a war “on the weak, from behind”. Amalek in gimatriya equals the Hebrew word for doubt, safek -ספק. This most destructive force, even without doing much, can turn our world upside down.
And yet.
Despite our best intentions, there is chaos in the world. And not all of it is explainable. In that regard, Purim is most important.
Finding G-d where everything is beautiful and orderly, is one thing. Sitting on top of Half Dome and feeling the wow – or alternatively, in the perfectly constructed mishkan – can make sense. But then there is being reminded that G-d is with us, even in the chaos, even when it’s not obvious, where there is no name or known presence. In spite of the discomfort and maybe irony, that is a much more holistic view of G-d.
Purim is pushing us beyond where we’re comfortable, beyond where we’ve been. There to find new horizons.
The Purim parade is called “adloyada” – עדלאידע as the three Hebrew words: ad lo yada – עד לא ידע “until one does not know”, taken from the Talmud (Megilla 7:b), where it says, “a person is obligated to drink (on Purim) until one does not know (the difference) between cursed Haman and blessed Mordechai”.
We often pride ourselves on Jewish learning. But, what does that mean? Finding answers to everything? Or keeping the questions?? Answers are nice; they give us comfort; the more decisive, the more defined – and confined we become. Questions remove the roof off our heads, leaving us open, vulnerable, searching, reaching for more, helping us grow, knowing we don’t know and we’ll never fully know. That too is ad lo yada, reaching  beyond and some. On Purim we don’t stumble on confusion. we don’t avoid it. We work to create it, enjoy it and celebrate it. May it be a good month!

Shabbat Shalom.

עדלאידע – 1956 ו- 2017

 

 

 

 

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G-d is in the Details

At the end of the day, it’s all about the details.
But, look at the big picture!
I do, and when I look at it really, really closely, I see that it’s made of lots and lots of tiny little dots. Had any one of them been elsewhere, slowly but surely, the whole thing would look differently. The Mona Lisa might not have that semi-smile and Beethoven’s symphony might have just a few disharmonic notes. We’d be sitting in the dark because when we passed our hand on the wall, we missed the light switch by just a little, and on and on.
Parashat Mishpatim is sandwiched between the dramatic Giving of the Law and the commitment of “na’ase venishma” – נעשה ונשמע we will do and we will listen (Exodus 24:7), the People’s confirmation of their acceptance of the covenant. It speaks about servitude, justice, compensations, theft, witchcraft, how to treat animals, loans, produce, lost objects, festivals, food, and more. And more.
You can’t be serious! G-d can’t possibly care about all this! Soon you’ll tell me that He cares how I tie my shoes?!
Just last week we were at Sinai, which our sages have compared it to the wedding of G-d with His People. It was marvelous, with flashy audio-visual effects and an impressive presentation. And yet, most relationships don’t survive on the “once in a…” event. The next day, there are dishes in the sink, and a long list of tedious, conflicting to-do’s. Love is made of the daily care, rather than the “wow”.
Ok, you might say, so we got some laws; “detailed” laws. So what. There were other legal codes at the time of the Torah, each progressive its own right. Hammurabi’s Code for example, also taught what to do with a murderer! Yes, but it dealt with establishing a fair – as humanly possible, organized and orderly society. Only the Torah included G-d in this detailed, legalistic conversation.
Just last week Moses told Yitro, his father in law who came to give him some good advice: “כי יבוא אלי העם לדרוש אלוהים “ – when the people come to me to seek G-d (18:15)… Wait: I thought the people came to him so he can judge between them and each other! What’s this with “seeking G-d”?
From instructions on how we treat a Hebrew servant, the Torah makes it clear that the judicial system is not just a human creation for the humans’ convenience. Rather, it is a conversation between each one of us as individuals and as part of a society, and the Divine, and that conversation goes through everyone and everything around me. The slave, the disadvantaged, the stranger, the one who was wounded; trees, fields, food – nothing escapes it. Our spiritual journey is inseparable from how we treat each other. It is a constant search for G-d’s image within and without, through all we do, and all we meet. Sinai is a turning point, not just because of Sinai but even more so, because of Mishpatim. Even the most minutia discussion, going forward, is going to be joined by a third voice: that of G-d.

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I’ll ask her in the morning…

On the day of her funeral, the sun was shining and the sky was a clear, blue. Funerals’ weather somehow is always meaningful, whether “the sky is crying” or not. For my mom’s, it was a glorious spring day, one of those days, on which she’d get up, bright and early, pull the curtains wide open to the view, take a deep breath, appreciating being alive, and plan to go hiking, or take a long walk along the beach, not before she’d call, check on her grandchildren, and tell me how beautiful the world is, not painless, but ever so beautiful.
On that day, too, the slopes of the green Carmel Mountain were carpeted with wild flowers in all colors. The red anemonies and pinkish cyclamens could be seen even from the cemetery gate, where a large crowd assembled. So much so that I started complaining why “they” schedule two funerals at the same time. “They” didn’t. It was just one. People gathered in a mixture of tears and smiles, condolences and memories. Everybody seemed busy so I walked alone, up the path through the graves to the funeral home, where her body was prepared. I would have liked to sit by her as her “shomeret”, but was not allowed… So many “rules” governed so much of our life, dictating what’s ok and not ok to do, even to that very last minute. “Your mother? I can tell by the palms of her hands, she was a tzadeket and died like the righteous ones, with a kiss”, said the Hevra Kadisha attendant.
I walked down, wondering about the bond between parents and children; about how much we miss, chasing each other through time, and what do we actually know about each other.
The night before the funeral, jet-lagged, sleepless, exhausted, deeply pained and strangely calm, I rummaged through boxes of pictures, binders of the letters we exchanged over many years, postcards in tiny handwriting, little souvenirs from all over the world. Every so often, I’d come across something, a photo of her or someone else I could not recognize (or her with someone else I could not recognize -). I found myself thinking, it’s ok, I’ll just ask her in the morning.
That thought was there throughout the funeral too: ‘I have to remember who came so I can tell her later’, as if this was some event she happened to miss. I could see her raise an eyebrow over her wonderful green eyes, peeking from behind her glasses, and say, nu tof… in her accent (and when I’d comment on that, she’d say, me? haaf an aczent??).
It’s been 12 years. And even before then, we spent many moons with an ocean between us. I inherited the “strength” to manage the daily stuff, and “all is well”. But on Sunday mornings, I still miss the phone ringing. And the thought of what I’d like to tell her, will probably never go away.
יהי זכרה ברוך.

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Dancing together at Sinai

When religious Jews are asked, how are you? they often respond with “Baruch Hashem”, literally meaning, ‘praised be G-d’ or ‘thank G-d’. Turns out, in the Torah this construct is used largely by non-Jews, including, in this week’s Torah portion, no other than Moses’ father in Law, Yitro:
וַיֹּאמֶר֮ יִתְרוֹ֒ בָּר֣וּךְ ה’ אֲשֶׁ֨ר הִצִּ֥יל אֶתְכֶ֛ם מִיַּ֥ד מִצְרַ֖יִם וּמִיַּ֣ד פַּרְעֹ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר הִצִּיל֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם מִתַּ֖חַת יַד־מִצְרָֽיִם׃
“Blessed be the LORD,” Jethro said, “who delivered you from the Egyptians and from Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

Long before him, came Malki-tzedek, the king of Shalem (Genesis 14:19-20); Abraham’s servant upon meeting Rebecca (24:27); Lavan, upon seeing Rebecca’s newly acquired jewelry and the servant standing outside (24:31), and Avimelech to Yitzchak, after settling the disputes over the wells and recognizing Yitzchak’s greatness (36:29), all using the same term or a slight variation.

The Talmud, and especially the Tractate of Avoda Zara, which is currently read at daf yomi, constantly wonders, where is the line between “me” and ”the other”? what can we do together that maintain each identity and what is it that blurs it? What kind of businesses, festivities, interactions? And the answers fluctuate with time, safety, economy, general needs and more.
Yitro, “Kohen Midyan” – the Midyanite priest – introduces this complexity. The sages describe him as someone who tried every idolatrous practice available. He is also Moses’ father in law. The grandfather of Moses’ (and Tzipora’s) children. And knowledgeable in organizational management.
We are so used to the story that we might miss the “wow”: The person who talks to G-d directly at any given moment, who will be the only one to speak with G-d “face to face”, in order to care for G-d’s people better is – not only getting but – taking advice from his non-Jewish father in law.
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G-d and the Children of Israel are often compared to a couple. If so, we might notice that between their “date” at the Splitting of the Sea – everything done to impress and “open up” a new relationship – and their “wedding” at Mt. Sinai – a much more calculate, mature move, with a detailed contract at hand – there is a “dance”. And even music; music which can be “seen” (Exodus 20:15)!
Moses goes up the mountain (19:3). Then down to gather the people (19:7). The people approach as close as possible (19:12)– they should want to be closer and closer. After all, what could be better then being with G-d? But they are given a limit, and warned not to go up any closer. Then Moses goes down again (19:14). Then G-d comes down on Mt. Sinai (19:20), and calls Moses to come up. Moses goes up (19:20) only to be told: go down (19:21), and then: “And G-d said to him [Moses]: Go down and come up again”… (19:24)…
Then and now, there is a constant dance between us and Hashem: when we draw too near, He (for lack of a better pronoun) “withdraws”. If we back-up, we allow “Him” more space to expand and come near us, but then we also feel more remote. Which makes us draw near, as we want to be really really close, but we can only get so close. Then we must catch our breath, and… back up a bit. Which allows G-d more room…
Where are we supposed to be? Close? Closer? Far? How far?
And I think we’re supposed to be “dancing”. For one, we’re expected to be in motion. Too close is like near an endless burning sun. Too far, is cold, lonely, and lifeless. The Torah suggests neither. It tells a love story, and as such, it is fitting to be accompanied – by a dance.

Shabbat Shalom.

Illustration by Menachem Halbershtat in Musaf Makor Rishon 2013

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Shabbat Shira: “There can be miracles”

The image of Miriam of the split sea with her drum is a favorite. So much so that tambourine in Hebrew is called “Miriam’s drum”. Rashi answers for us the question we didn’t think to ask: not like there were music stores on route, so where did they get drums from? “The women were righteous and thus guaranteed miracles, so they brought drums with them from Egypt” (on Exodus 15:20).
Music was always part of my life. I’m especially thinking of our family’s piano which traveled from Germany to Israel in the 1930’s. I admit that as a child, I pretty much took it for granted. It was always there; what’s to think? But one day my kids asked me to describe exactly, how did it make it across Europe to Israel of long ago? ‘What ima, the Nazis came to the door to kick the family out, and your grandma said, ‘just a second, if you don’t mind, the movers will be here soon, and I really hate to leave you the piano’…?
And I’m thinking of the kind of faith that is takes to prepare no sandwiches for the journey, but nevertheless brings along musical instruments…
Then there is the Sea Splitting. The Torah describes how it happened, a phenomenon which scientists have been able to somewhat duplicate:
וַיֵּ֨ט מֹשֶׁ֣ה אֶת־יָדוֹ֮ עַל־הַיָּם֒ וַיּ֣וֹלֶךְ ה ׀ אֶת־הַ֠יָּם בְּר֨וּחַ קָדִ֤ים עַזָּה֙ כָּל־הַלַּ֔יְלָה וַיָּ֥שֶׂם אֶת־הַיָּ֖ם לֶחָרָבָ֑ה וַיִּבָּקְע֖וּ הַמָּֽיִם׃
Then Moses held out his arm over the sea and the LORD drove back the sea with a strong east wind all that night, and turned the sea into dry ground. The waters were split… (Exodus 14:21).

Indeed, around where we think is Yam Suf, there are watery channels that at times, with enough winds, can shift the waters and expose dry land.
Forget the fact that the miracle has to happen in the right time and right length of time, which is already amazing. For the midrash this was not enough. Our sages describe to us a completely different scenario: seeing the confusion – Egyptians from behind, the Children of Israel at a loss, Moses praying — Nachshon ben Aminadav, the future prince of the tribe of Judah, started walking into the water. Step by step. First his toes got wet. I imagine at this point, everyone around was still arguing and crying. Clouds of dust from the approaching horses in the distance could be seen. Then his knees got wet. His thighs. His waist. At this point, some might have noticed already: ‘Hey, Nachshon! What are you doing? Hey! Hey!’ Then his chest. His shoulders. His neck. The shout-outs quiet down; the crowd is silent. What is he doing? The water are up to his nostrils and voilà!! At that moment, the sea splits.
We who know the “rest of the story” think, ah, of course, The Sea Splits, but Nachshon, unlike Miriam, didn’t pack a bathing suit. He just walks.

As slaves, the Children of Israel got their food every day; maybe even 2-3 times a day. It was probably not much – some soup, little bread; maybe some greens, a piece of fish. But it sustained them. And what’s more: it kept them from worrying. Their masters wanted them alive and working so chances are there will be more tomorrow. As they leave for the desert, they reminisced about the “pot of meat” they used to have in Egypt. A careful reading reveals they didn’t miss “meat” – they might not have much, but there was a “pot”, even if only “leftover”, conveying an idea of “security”, a feeling of ‘there will food tomorrow too’.
Then there was “freedom”.
Things turned upside down: water came from the ground, and bread – from heaven (exactly opposite from how we experience it now!) and with it, a strange directive: take only one day’s portion, except for on Shabbat when there will be double.
What was it like to go out at dusk, satisfied, not hungry yet deeply concerned; what if there will be nothing tomorrow? Ah, but there is. And what about the next morrow? How do we learn to trust, to have faith?
Three different situations: those we can prepare for, trusting that one day, the day will come; those that surprise us, but we can do something about at the moment; and those we just to have to ride, breath, hold on, appreciate the present and trust for an unknown, good tomorrow.
The days before Sinai can be described as an intense faith retreat. We’re even attacked by Amalek, the embodiment of doubt, at the end of the parasha. We have to practice our newly learned skills; we’re going to need them every day of our life.

Shabbat Shalom.

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