Thoughts recorded on Asarah b’Tevet, fast day commemorating the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Thanks to RF and DM for creating a space of special learning and experiencing.
From the HafTorah we read during last week’s fast:
For thus said the Lord: “As for the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, Who have chosen what I desire And hold fast to My covenant — 5 I will give them, in My House
And within My walls, A monument and a name Better than sons or daughters. I will give them an everlasting name Which shall not perish. 6 As for the foreigners
Who attach themselves to the Lord, To minister to Him, And to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants — All who keep the sabbath and do not profane it, And who hold fast to My covenant — 7 I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer.
We should remember that the prophetic perspective woven into Judaism cared little for birthright, Land, and right. It cares for the purpose, simple and true, to be the type of People that the force of all creation would approve tending the one and only earth. To be the Light, and to inspire the Nations. If we falter, and the “eunuchs” and “foreigners” emerge true, then so be it. The mission matters more than who carries it out. If we still wish to be the ones, then it bears to remember that as formidable and strong and wealthy we may grow, and as much as we may try, nothing, certainly nothing worthy of history, Judaism, and our lives, is given on a silver platter, most certainly not a birthright.
“Seek the Lord while He can be found, Call to Him while He is near.Let the wicked give up his ways, The sinful man his plans; Let him turn back to the Lord, And He will pardon him; To our God, For he freely forgives.”
Let us honestly assess, each and everyone, what motivates us to act. Let us not rationalize. Let us not paint over truths with grudges and anger. Let us not profane ourselves by ignoring painful decisions, and hiding from self-knowledge.