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 Mishpatim (Exodus 21-24:18)
On the heels of the 10 Commandments, we receive a long list of mishpatim, laws. These extend and govern a wide range of areas of life from ethics and food to animals and religious life. We also learn of the three original agricultural and pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. The people of Israel acclaim “na’aseh v’nishma/we will do and we will obey,” before Moses ascends Mt. Sinai. This time he remains on the mountaintop for 40 days and 40 nights.
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: While the burning bush must have been a spiritual experience for Moses, we have to imagine that his long stay on the mountaintop topped his previous experience. Thinking of Moses at the summit of his spiritual experience – what does your “spiritual summit” look like? Where do you imagine it might occur, what might its content be, and how do you hope it leaves you feeling?
Rabbi Mark Melamut