Shavua tov everyone. I am writing this note on one foot as I continue to reflect on the teachings of Exodus and look forward to entering Vayikra, the centre, the core of Torah.
I want to include one last thought about Sh’mot, even as we move forward this week.
One of the encounters in Torah was that of the Israelites encountering Amalek, not long after leaving Egypt. The reference I am making below is more complete in Deuteronomy (25:17-19), and is barely inferred in Exodus: that the Amalekites attacked the Israelites on their way out of Egypt, “when you were famished and weary,” and cut down the stragglers in the rear. Yet even by inference, there is an important teaching here.
The weakest of the Israelite numbers who were travelling were at the rear of the group. Israel didn’t protect the weakest and weary of our people – where properly, they should have been in the midst. After this encounter with attack by Amalek, the people Israel reconfigured and in fact did place their most vulnerable in their midst.
As we move forward we must consider and protect those in our own midst who need our protection. We will be having discussions about resuming in-person services and holidays. Zoom has allowed us to gather together, as on person put it, “on a level playing field.” Whether we can drive or not, or whether we have physical challenges, – not all of us are blessed with full physical capacity. Here is a link for a thoughtful commentary on inclusion. I encourage all of us to read and think about our challenges ahead –and consider who are we including in our beloved Kolot Mayim community.
Love to all,