A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Parsha by Rabbi Mark Melamut
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less. (www.bubbygram.com)
Served each Friday afternoon, noonish.
Parshat Yitro (Exodus 18-20:23)
Before the dramatic experience of the ten commandments, Moses learns some good advice from his father-in-law, Jethro. Namely, that he should learn to delegate in order that he doesn’t wear himself out. The Israelites now find themselves in the wilderness of Sinai, camped out near the mountain. And then, it all begins. On the third day, morning dawns, thunder cracks, lightning darts, a cloud moves over Mt. Sinai, and the sound of the shofar rings out. Encamped at the foot of the mountain, the people tremble, as smoke and fire appear, and the entire mountain trembles. God then speaks those very important words, known in hebrew as aseret ha-dvarim, or aseret ha-dibrot, the ten statements.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: The experience of God’s presence at Mt. Sinai clearly caused a lot of trembling. What really causes us to tremble today, either out of awe or fear? How can this experience guide us to be better prepared to hear the important and sacred words of our families, friends, and neighbors?