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Rabbi's Shabbat Message

In parshat Eikev, we get a little reminder about the manna that sustained the Israelites in the desert. They would walk outside their homes to find this delicate, flaky substance on the ground, and they would ask “Man hu” - “what is it?” Hence the name, manna. It took the name of their question. 

Biblical scholar Jeffrey Tigay says “manna” is essentially the biblical word for “whatchamacallit.” A substance that is strange and unusual - what is this stuff?? - but still became a daily reminder of being sustained by the God, the Source of Life.

So I wonder - what if we looked out at our surroundings that way? What if we gazed upon our belongings and our environment that has become so overly familiar, and instead tried to see it as new, and all part of what is sustaining us physically and spiritually in each moment?

It reminds me of one of my favorite poems, called Everything Is Waiting For You by David Whyte:

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom. Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation.
The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and seen the good in you at last.
All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.


Wishing us all a Shabbat full of gratitude for the people and places that are sustaining us, moment to moment. 

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Lauren

Tue, September 29 2020 11 Tishrei 5781