I’ve just started receiving Karen Hannah Pryor’s “A Taste of Torah.” I’m enjoying these lengthy weekly devotions on the Books of Moses timed with the reading of Torah that’s occuring in the synagogue.
Here’s a part of today’s message about the book of Exodus:
Pesach, the Hebrew name of the Passover Feast commanded by the Lord, can be divided into two words: peh and sach, which translate as, â€œmouth speaks.â€ In the light of the text of the parasha, as well as the book of Shemot, this points to the revelation of truth through the Divine Word that issues from the mouth of God and also to the human ability and freedom to speak. A slave suffers not only the total loss of control over his or her physical life, but also the imprisonment of silence. Slaves have no right to speak, no freedom of expression, no means of sharing their opinions or their hearts. This loss of â€˜selfhoodâ€™ is surely the greatest loss. Only when the bitterly oppressed Israelite slaves lift their voices and cry out does God set His plan of deliverance in motion.
In normal circumstances, there usually is more regret over having spoken rashly when one would have been wiser to remain silent. Words indeed have power and their use involves risk. However, much also can be lost in the limiting safety of silence. It is in the tension between self-protective silence and the self-disclosure of speech that each person struggles for authentic freedom before God and one another. The biblical narrative reveals that it is through the gift of His Word and His Spirit, presented to His people after their physical liberation, that God sets free the imprisoned heart.
A joyful discovery awaits each â€˜selfâ€™ that reaches out for meaning in relationship with God: we find that Godâ€™s hand already is extended in longing to us â€“ eager to woo us with His Word of love and to draw us into His close embrace.
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