Year after year, going through the cycle of Torah reading, I see more of myself in the antics of the characters populating famous Bible stories. And, year after year, I endeavor to go a little bit deeper and learn a little bit more about myself from reading and praying about the weekly Torah portion, especially as regards my current life challenges.
Reading Torah is a spiritual practice unto itself, but seeing myself in Torah makes that practice much more personal. Praying for personal insights on issues that are "up" for me as read the weekly Parsha makes Torah interactive, interesting and even exciting. I like that.
This week's Parsha Vaeira includes God instructing Moshe to tell Pharoah, "Let My people leave and let them worship me in the desert." Exodus 7:16 (The Living Torah)
These words give me pause to think. First, It wasn't simply, "Let My people go," as we often remember the incident. It includes God's purpose for the Jews' redemption from slavery, which is worship. And it includes the place where Jews will worship - in the desert.
I am exercising my right to worship my God on my own, right where I live, which is a Jewish desert. The land is not a desert, but the spiritual landscape is devoid of Jews. It's not a desert of plant growth, but certainly of Jewish growth. That's a plain fact here in far north Texas.
What a great example of seeing my current life challenges in the weekly Torah portion! Shabbat Shalom!