Ki Tisa

Last Thursday evening we celebrated Purim on Zoom – what a fun evening! I find myself filled with trepidation before our holidays, wondering how we will ever find the ‘tam’, the flavour of the holidays on Zoom – and every time I am thrilled that we taste every flavour imaginable! Thank you to everyone for coming and joining in the reading of Megillat Esther. We look forward to our Seder, knowing we will continue to find the taste of community and connection through all mediums necessary.

In many ways Zoom – dare I say – replicates that time of receiving Torah at Sinai. We waited and we waited for the return of Moses. We start to feel unhappy, insecure, perhaps abandoned. Oy, will this waiting ever end?

God looked down and said to Moses – You should see what they are up to! They are jumping queues, forgetting what you told them, disobeying my laws – and look what they have built! They’re partying! Around a false god, a golden calf, singing and dancing. You want me to kill them all?

(Sidebar: what are we doing back at Sinai – I thought we had moved in with instructions about building the Mishkan, the sanctuary, the menorah, the robes for the priests?? Torah can be like any other story sometimes – chronologies and memories are not necessarily “in order” – at least that is how Rashi explains this section!)

Instead Moses turns back to God and challenges God to not annihilate the people especially after bringing them out of Egypt – and to remember a promise made to Abraham, to Isaac and to Israel, “I shall increase your offspring like the stars of the heaven and this entire land of which I spoke, I shall give to your offspring and it shall be their heritage forever.” Note the usage of the word offspring – literally ‘your seeds’ in the Hebrew. This generation will not enter the Land – only their seed, that generation to be born in Bamidbar. Not born to slavery, but born into freedom, to obligation.

As are we. We are free to be Jews. In this time between celebrating Purim and Pesach, that is an enormous recognition indeed. Let’s use our freedom wisely. Love to all, Rabbi Lynn