Rabbi's Message: Volume 25, No. 7: Feb. 2008 - Adar 1 5768


Volume 25, No. 7: Feb. 2008 - Adar 1 5768

Subject: Rabbi's Message: Feb. 2008 - Adar 1 5768: Moses, the Burning Bush and our Winter

With the cold of January, many of us are contemplating warmer climates and cruises to the Caribbean, or the like. A few days ago, I was at the top of a mountain. The mist rose from the valley with sunshine above the mist. The puff clouds created shadows on the adjacent hillsides. The mixture of evergreens with shadowing created a symphony of green shades contrasting with the white of the snow and the darkness of the tree trunks and over it all, a glistening blue wisp of white clouds. Ive departed the mountains and I am in a museum filled with the works of Frederic Church or Albert Bierstadt. Communication from God? Perhaps. Ive often suggested that the senses are the interface between the physical world and the spiritual world. But at the very least, this scenery is one of life's she-he-che-ya-nu moments that allows me (and I suppose us) to appreciate the magnificent beauty in our own backyards.

As we read about Moses' rise to leadership, the Biblical text tells us that Moses, while shepherding in the field, sees a bush burning but it is not consumed. One must ask the question, How long did he have to stare at the bush, to realize that? That's certainly not something that would have been obvious in just five or ten minutes. How might our lives be different if Moses had not noticed? Would God have tried again to contact Moses or would God have recognized that Moses was not the right man and looked elsewhere to find leadership?

If the story of Exodus applies to each of us, perhaps God is communicating with us, but if we cant see the clues, we can miss the communication. Perhaps our own cultures adage, "when opportunity knocks, listen!" derives from this.

I can't tell you how many times Ive had what I thought was a great idea and because I was too buy to write it down, the idea went away; I forgot it. I like to think that these ideas are communications from God and represent life's opportunities. The communications with God may be of the physical world or of the spiritual world. They are the burning bushes that we all encounter, if only we could slow down enough to absorb them, to share them and to grow with them.


Joshua L. Segal

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