Thursday, August 29, 2013

Balaam Numbers 22: 22-27

Written on 6/22/13

22 And God's anger was kindled because he went; and the angel of the LORD placed himself in the way for an adversary against him.— Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.— 23 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field; and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a hollow way between the vineyards, a fence being on this side, and a fence on that side. 25 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; and he smote her again. 26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And the ass saw the angel of the LORD, and she lay down under Balaam; and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with his staff. (JPS online)


We get so mad when we think we're in control of our path, our fate, our ability to get what we want, and then find out we are not.

We think we can see, then proceed blindly into the narrowing passage, hemmed in on all sides, which is a very cramped and bleak place to be. We like options; we like open spaces; we like what we want to happen to happen.

The idea that a holy man (for aren't each of us holy, in our own time?) cannot see an angel of YHVH, but the ass can -- outrage!

I want what I want, which MUST be what God wants, or if not, I can continue to push on and want it anyway.

Not so.

We can box ourselves in really well when left to our own devices. But the connection, the ass, the narrow place, the anger, the blessing -- they must all find their way through us. We must learn to recognize, and see.

Stuck? Bless me.
Hemmed in? Bless openness.
Lost the connection with the divine, the is-was-and-will-be of our souls?

Stop. Listen. Relax. Let go.
Not in control.
On a talking donkey in a narrow crevice.

We can't get out unless we awaken to our own knowing.
Then we can bless everything, and we can find our way once more.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

4/27/13 Emor

Leviticus 23: 1-8

1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: The appointed seasons of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed seasons. 3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings. 4 These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is the LORD'S passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 8 And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work.


We forget, but these are the markers, the days, the ways to remember that YHVH is eternal. These are the rituals to step into the eternality of our existence, each one a stepping stone across the huge river of time in which we get swirled and dunked and tossed about.

But come Friday night, come Pesach, come Shavuot, come Sukkot, you can know there will be a stone beneath your feet, a solidness where the eternal divine and the eternal of this world stand together and open to the truth. When we call for blessing, for truth, for openness, for change, there is a response waiting.

So when you falter, find yourself tugged away by rough current, cut up on the rapids, call out for the opening to the truth of the next stone in time, you will find a moment of rest and comfort on solid ground, and we will remember together that we serve all that is connected in love and time. So We breathe collectively in our hope and turmoil before stepping back into the river to see where the water will take us.