Leah’s Blog Vayechi – Shemot 2021
My son in law Alex had a plan through the back way of Itamar here, east, avoiding traffic, to go to the Dead Sea for the day. On Waze it said it would take an hour and twenty minutes. It really didn’t take me much of convincing to come. I love to explore and ramble through Qumran, Kalia and Ein Bokek, plus I’ve been feeling desperate, broken and frustrated with the recent rash of attacks both verbal and real on settlers in the last weeks. Our government here is making me feel a sick sense of Deja vu’ of the bloody days of Oslo. Israel can wear a lot of shrouds. It can be nasty here too, it doesn’t negate its holiness. The single most miraculous event of this planet took place when scores of living skeletons made their way back home to the Promised Land and formed a sovereign Israel. At that dark hour of history, it looked like it was over for the Jewish people. Open miracles enabled this to come to be yet the character of the State of Israel alienates the very tree of life of the Torah that we held unto through the long exile. In many ways it attacks the heartland, its pumping heart – did you know that Jews cannot pray on the Temple Mount? But coming even closer into the hub of Israel, just ten minutes outside of Ben Gurion airport ten synagogues were burnt to the ground in the Arab riots of last year. We are steeped in foreign culture that cancels identity. The Shechinah has not totally settled down here yet. There are painful voids we have to live with and rectify. Elokim judges in harshness- this Land can feel like it eats its inhabitants.
Entering the calm low area of the Jordan Valley that dips to rock bottom, the lowest place on earth had a coating of serene peace slowly covering me. Leaving behind dark cold clouds on the mountains that have lately had an imminent vibe of disturbance, the tan low expanse sparkled sunny warm and peaceful. We stopped at a pineapple farm on the way tasting the yellow fresh sweet answer that is sure to cure any broken heart. The groves of date trees neat and tropical made you wonder if it always looked this way- was this what Joshua saw when he led Israel to capture Jericho? If you were in a plane you would see Chevron just above the Dead Sea, 900 meters up. This is a TINY country, a patchwork of different scenes, feelings, vibes, entities and their meanings. Astonishing how close everything is. Here I feel El Shaddai. I am reconnecting to chesed.
We are sealing the book of Berieshit now and moving into the book of Shemot. Yaakov and Yosef pass away yet the crux we take is about their lives and their mission. Not worshipping the coffins, mummies, and surrounding culture, Yosef heeds Yaakov’s wish to be buried in Chevron along with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, enabling a short visit to return to the Land together with its significance to this family that would become a nation and return to it. Yaakov Avinu strived to see the finale of the end of days but it was not revealed. We have a peek unto the future of things to come when Moshe Rabbeinu was reminded of the details of the Divine plan and the objective of the mission of Am Yisrael as we hungrily open the next book:
(Shemot 6:2-8)- “And Hashem spoke to Moshe and said to him: “I am the Lord that has appeared to Abraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov by the name of G-d almighty, I have also established my covenant with them to give them the Land of Canaan. I have remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the children of Israel- I am the Lord and I will bring you out from the burdens of Egypt and I will take you to Me for a people and I will be for you a G-d, and you shall know that I am the Lord your G-d.”
You were once a person- Abraham. You became a family, a tribe- now a nation. In order to fulfill the mission, you must leave and go up to the Land, as Abraham did.
The transition of Vayechi to Shemot is all about the essence of reconnecting to the core, to the covenant of the Patriarchs where their story started here in the Land. Our family, our tribe, our national framework, our revelation of G-ds Kingdom in the Land. We may go through the fire, the exile, death and suffering but what goes around comes around- we are the links in the chain. The ups and downs of this long journey through the years as well as my own journey has me cherishing this moment as we drive back up the mountain. It demands horsepower. G-d give me strength. The Land is good- very good!!!! We are coming home.
Friends, we are closing on the fiscal year. In order to seriously repair the world we must strive to reveal the Kingdom of G-d. It is not in a fairy tale place. In order to fix this impaired state of things and build up the level that must rise up out of the dust. This cannot be done without your help. Help us glorify Hashem’s name by supporting our effort to build plow teach and remain standing firm as watchmen on these walls. Friends of Itamar, our 501c3 is in the process of building up the heartland on these mountains – we can only rise from here.
Blessing you with a cheerful winter and holiday season, our love and Blessings to you- Leah