A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Torah Portion 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)
Parshat Hayyei Sarah (Genesis 23:1 – 25:18)
In becoming betrothed to Rebekah, we learn that Isaac finds comfort after his mother, Sarah’s death. Before Rebekah meets Isaac for the first time, she veils herself. But even before that, they see each other in the distance, slowly approaching one another (think dramatic and romantic, slow motion scene). Where was Isaac when he first saw her, and what was he doing at the time? We read, “And Isaac went out walking/meditating/praying/talking (lasuach in hebrew) in the field before evening, and, looking up, he saw camels approaching.” (Gen 24:63)
Jewish tradition teaches us that it is from Isaac that we learn that we are to take a pause for ourselves during our constantly busy days. We are to take a pause for mincha, for afternoon prayer or reflection. How inviting! And, when we are on the hamster wheel of life and the day to day, how difficult to do. We may take some pause throughout our day, but is it a pause that refreshes us or that prepares us for the rest of our day? Being near 46th and Taraval, my best “mincha moments” at Bnai Emunah always take place just three blocks away at Ocean Beach. Whether I’m walking/meditating/praying/talking, there is something about being outside, near the ocean, that always invites me to look up, to pause, and to prepare for what’s coming next.
Do you make time for yourself to pause in your daily schedule?
How does your pause prepare you for what is to come next?