Adar I , Week 3 — There is a Place for You with Me

As we enter into the third week of the first month of Adar

We listen to the call of the Torah portion Ki Tisa.

Moshe had gone back up the mountain

And the people grew afraid he wouldn’t return.

So they made something they thought

They could hold onto

Something that would be definite and sure.

Out of gold, silver and precious stones

They fashioned for themselves a god.

A god they could touch.

A god they could see.

            A god that would lead them

            And would always keep them safe.

In their need for certainty,

             In the throes of fear,

                         In the clutches of doubt,

Our ancestors turned away from the Mystery.

And when Moshe returned to the camp,

Carrying the tablets

Inscribed by the Infinite Presence,

The tablets shattered.

The teachings of the Infinite Mystery

Could not enter a place where fear ruled

And the work of one’s hands was worshipped.

The shattered pieces scattered.

The sharp edges,

The broken fragments,

            Lay everywhere among the people.

But from within the brokenness,

            The Mystery called out:

Hinei makom iti—There is a place for you with me. (Exodus 33:2)

In the midst of fear,

In the clutch of doubt,

In the swirl of mistrust,

Even here,

There is a place for you with me.

Feel my presence.

I am standing right beside you.

Listen as I call out my name:

All Being, All Being, Compassion and Graciousness,

Patience, Forbearance, Abounding in Love and Truth,

Extending Generosity through time and space,

Lifting up Guilt and Despair from the Depths of Misdeeds,

And making you free.           

                                                            Exodus 34: 5-7

In the light of the full moon of Adar Rishon,

The Torah portion urges us not to be hijacked by fears, no matter how powerful they appear and not to allow regrets, mistakes and misdeeds to shatter us.

Listen, the Mystery calls:

There is a place for you with me.

 I am standing right beside you.

And this is my name:

 Compassion, Grace, Patience, Love, Truth, Generosity, Forgiveness.

Feel the essence of these qualities. 

Place them upon your hearts and before your eyes.

Let them hold and guide you.

And remember:

I am standing right beside you.

And always, there is a place for you with me.

—Rabbi Yael Levy

16 Adar I 5779