Leah’s Blog March 17 2017 Parshat Ki Tissa
I am leaning into Spring impatiently. Bending down to look at the new flowers blanketing our Land, I feel the need to do it more. Somewhere not too far away someone is cutting grass. I breathe in the sweetness.The sky is lightening up .It’s the time to stretch, to move, to rediscover the joys of the outdoors. It is a time for recovery. To be lifted. At least I need it. I need to stretch – in all realms. I need to stretch time, to stretch every limb in a relaxing way getting me ready for the movement that will soon come with Pesach. Then it’s soon about hard work; in overdoing it as every year in the enthusiasm for wiping clean, throwing out, fixing broken stuff, scrubbing till knees and feet throb reminding how once life had even much more vigorous tasks like chopping wood, hauling water and carrying it…. I long to till the earth at this time, to plant a new garden…. Maybe stretching will enable me to. The climate is a time for healing and for rising above.
The term most used for describing leaving Egypt is “with an outstretched arm”. Depending on if we start from when the daughter of Pharoh, Bitya, found baby Moshe in the little ark floating on the Nile and rescued him – the famous picture I have imbedded is one of her bending over with her arm miraculously stretching. Then there is Hashem Himself stretching His arm to accommodate us, the mood is one of bending and stretching – as Am Yisrael (the Torah describes) were bent over in oppression and hard slavery. With this outstretched arm Hashem raised us from the depths of an immoral culture and a degrading stature in society to the awesome spiritual heights and new identity of a healthy lifted nation.
Bending is important, as opposed to breaking.
In this parsha Moshe Rabbeinu goes up to Har Sinai only to come down and break the tablets when he saw what he saw there with the golden calf. His patience stretched many times, he saves the broken pieces and I suddenly understand why he stutters… He goes up again and comes down on Yom Kippur, this time – a time of appeasement – he returns with the Ten Commandments- with more the words inscribed and the meaning of their values, not so much the tablets. This time around they have learned not to worship a carnal icon. Now they do not bend under the yoke of Egyptian slave masters but stretch into a freedom dedicated to Torah. Now they can move on. Am Yisrael continue to journey through the midbar with the broken pieces and the perfectly whole tablets. Wherever they went they carried their mistakes and their tikkun, the out of order and the restored. This imagery is the lesson we take for life, maybe the greatest lesson of the entire Torah.
We are all different in our strength, in our endurance, in our being able to be flexible to bend and to stretch, to accommodate . But we all need to be lifted. Hashem designed such a thing for now-with an outstretched arm- the most breathtaking part of the year as all of nature is about to open up. It is almost Pesach – In Tneenah קיב- – Rabbi Nachman says :” If you believe you have damaged- believe – you can fix it!”
Shabbat Shalom! Leah