" I am the L-rd your G-d who rescued you from the land of Egypt... gods besides Me you should not know, and there is no Saviour but Me" (Shemot 20: 2 & Hoshea 13: 4) . A Sephardi discussion on Orthodoxy, the world, notes, essays & other pedantic musings
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
This week's parashah-Bemidbar (Numbers 1 to 4 : 20 )
This week's Torah portion takes its name from the book that we are about to delve into, namely Bemidbar or Numbers . What is enjoyable about this book is that it contains many different types of writing : narratives, poetry, songs, prayers. prophecy, blessings, laws and lists. The overall themes are the journey toward 'the promised land', moans, groans and ultimately the faithfulness of the Almighty.
The beginning of this book can seem somewhat daunting and possibly irrelevant for any kind of spiritual guidance today, because the bulk of it is mostly a long census list and various instructions on the obligations and responsibilities of the various times, but as ever the is stuff than we can draw out from this for today. To me it seems that the census was incredibly meticulous, which meant it would have take a lot of time, effort and organisation.
Which got me thinking on the following train of thought -
In today's society this is one of the most precious commodities that people have. You cannot buy it, but it is something most people want. Yet we live in a 24 -7 world in which everything has to be done yesterday. There is increasingly little time to spend with family and friends, enjoying their company, enjoying leisure (yes you ARE allowed to do that!), undertaking non work activity. The list goes on. Thankfully we are blessed as Jews for having the institution of Shabbat. Whilst others might see this as a long list of 'don't do's ', I think we can see Shabbat as G-d's way of addressing this 24-7 lifestyle. That by divine legislation we are able to, once a week to relax and enjoy ourselves. If only the rest of the world could be as thus, perhaps we might live in a better society. Aside from this, is there any way that you as a person are able to make more effective use of the time you have during the week? And what will you do with that extra time, once it is found?
This is a big challenge for me. Sometimes I just cannot sum up the effort and enthusiasm for any of my various projects. It is something I've got to work on. I really, really want to do various stuff, which I've been putting off and off. No more procrastination, time to do ! We also need to put effort into our relationships. Perhaps you have someone who really pisses you off? Is it perhaps time to make the effort to reconcile
yourself to that person? Or have you had an argument with someone? Perhaps it is time to make the effort to clear matters up.
This is something I need to work on. If we have time & effort, if we do not have organisation, we will not be as effective as we could be. Is there anyway you and me can improve our spiritual organisation? Regular Torah study, being able to pray at least once a day? And as Judaism is a practical faith, how organised are you for this life? Can you improve? I'll admit I need to work on that .
I hope these thoughts are helpful to people. I'd like to finish with this thought: G-'d's love is eternal (Psalm 136) and his compassions never fail, his faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3).