Facing Biblical Paradoxes


Shabbos Shalom, I'm Mike Lepawsky, Martha Barker's brother, Diane Lepawsky's husband, John Barker's brother-in-law. It is true the Kabala at Noon Adult Education Program series was delightful. We did volunteer to give a d'rash today about it. It was, in addition, enlightening by nature, excitingly diverse in content, wonderfully wide in scope and just generally hip to the program. Gloria Levy and Laura Kaplan captivated about ten of us, soliciting our most detailed thoughts and feelings. Looking very closely at Exodus 33/12---34/10, we hit critical mass, Rabbi Laura asked who would do a d'rash on it, Susan beat me to volunteer and here we are.


The paradoxes in the Torah reading are that the text records "Öthe Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." But later it also records God saying, "Thou canst not see My face, for man shall not see Me and live." Yet in the Ikedah, the paternal binding of Isaac, this obedient son sees God, receiving perhaps the most valuable birthright of all the Abrahamsons even if the most high riskÖand he lives to tell about it, though one imagines he would choose his audience carefully


Talking this through with our mentor while preparing for our d'rash, by reading the text closely one notes that Moses does not SEE God's FACE but that GOD TALKS WITH MOSES face to face. This probably involved Moses doing much, probably most, of the listening. The process of developing spiritual listening skills, resulted in his bilateral frontal forehead antennas and shining radiance from all the Deogenic irradiaton he received coming so close to Ehyeh.


We should challenge ourselves to develop spiritual listening skills like Moses, but at the same time let us make sure to Thank God when we draw water.


May we come closer and closer together, to each other, to God, v'yeemroo amen.


Thanks to you all, to Susan, to Gloria, Rabbi Laura and to my beloved wife, Diane.


Good Shabbos




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