Leah’s Blog Parshat VaEra January 4 2019
One of the most striking attractions here in Israel is the reconstruction and rehabilitation of historic sites. Antiquated, some are barely noticed at first but textual sources give evidence to their exact location. Never passé or obsolete, old world vintage artifacts sometimes forgotten for thousands of years suddenly appear on front stage. The “remake” merges two worlds- the one of then, and the one of now including the meaning of each place and time it stood, surfacing now again and how it applies to us today. In these portions of the Torah we meet a nation burdened with the labor of the building of pyramids and cities that later become wonders to the world in a land not their own. Slaves did this phenomenal work! What craftsmanship! What beauty! These relics are a subject of great interest that have value beyond our wildest dreams. It was the labor that went into them that foreshadowed an even greater contribution to the wonders of the world though… The constant preoccupation with the making of bricks and mortar, the yoke of back breaking suffering within a society considered advanced that had Am Yisrael drowning, not only in the Nile but into the dregs of the fleshpots. With no time for anything spiritual, ten plagues came to rescue them and deliver them into Ten Commandments and off the concrete melting sidewalks of Ramses into a vast desert of nature, clouds of glory and pillars of fire. The yin and yang of material vrs. spiritual begin now in our story of redemption. All of this comes to teach us today an important perspective of seder- or order and the balance we need in our insanely busy lives. The moral fabric the Jewish people have given to the world though being Am Segulah- The Chosen people- not because we are better but because we have a task- to free the world of the burden it carries through the beautiful moral caring and loving Torah. Not realizing it- most of the ethics and righteousness in the world was given to us and through us. In a time where G-dliness and a moral code again is questioned, and questions arise about basic precepts of faith- just look to the Old-World word, now especially coming out of Zion! Shabbat shalom!