A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Torah Portion by Rabbi Mark
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.”
“Give me a bissel lox on my bagel,
would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less.
Parshat Mishpatim (Exodus 21 – 24:18)
We transition this week from the thundering “mountain-top” experience of hearing the 10 Commandments to the mishpatim, the ordinances that govern Jewish life from civil laws and damages caused by animals, to free loans and a sabbatical for harvested land. The people Israel’s response is, “na’aseh v’nishmah/we will do, and we will listen.” Then we find Moses back on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and nights, preparing to receive the written version of what was heard – on the first pad or tablet of the time, the stone kind.
In our lives I think we generally listen before we do. Can you think of any personal circumstances where doing comes before listening?
What do we place more value on in our lives – doing or listening?
If we are doing well in one or the other, how can we cultivate a better balance?
Rabbi Mark Melamut