Monday, March 22, 2010

bringing me close to yhvh

this week's tosha portion is the beginning of the book leviticus.

here's my experience of the compassionate wisdom of the rabbis. we return to the torah portion year after year. depending on where i am at i look at the portion differently. also each year i get a little more familiar with it. i become a little closer to it. so far, for a few years, i've been dreading the books after exodus. it's like, the high drama is over. now we have to wander in the desert and get pounded with rule after rule, dredging through one practical detail after another.
but this time around, as i am reading the instructions on what to do to atone for being off the mark from our covenant with god and how to do them i realize yhvh is bestowing us a path so that, in baby steps, we can find our way to the ultimate and primary goal: to always remember we are no longer slaves, we are out of narrow consciousness, free of all that conditioning that chain and shackle us to fear, anger, greed and their army of negativities. as rabbi says, yhvh can take us out of egypt but can't take egypt out of us. we have to do the work.

by the time i come to the place where the instruction says to the effect that if it's a pinch of flour that you can afford to offer it's just as fine i feel a sweet closeness within. the text doesn't say there's one kind of offering that is better than the other. the equality of vision is evident.

it is deeply comforting to know that there is a pathway i can get close to yhvh who dwells as much in me as in everyone, everywhere in the universe. i can do it from where i am according to life circumstances.

just as i wonder what the hebrew word for 'sacrifice' is my very tuned-in rabbi lerner answers my question. 'closeness.' 'making close.' aaah-hh. all that action is for the purpose of bringing me close to yhvh, the force of healing and transformation. take a baby step of turning inward and i become aware of its throb. may i see it and feel it in all my feelings, thoughts and actions. may it be so.

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