I feel for Moses, being put through so much for the sake of community without the ability to really rest, but of course that’s the work of so many leaders. And like other leaders, Moses relies on the support of those around him to hold him up while he serves others, albeit literally in his case.
If there was one lesson that stuck with me the most through the pandemic, it might be not to think any plans are permanent. Faith is not necessarily about preparation, but about how we react. It’s those pivots and adjustments that help us continue to move forward, despite what may lie ahead.
Throughout this week's Torah portion, we see the notion that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” As human beings, we value our free will above all else, so this idea doesn’t sit well with everyone. If God caused the hardened heart, does that mean we have no free will?
One of my favorite teachings in Pirkei Avot is from Hillel: “In a place where there are no people, strive to be a person.” It’s important to know that each of us has a voice, even if there’s not a chorus of other voices joining in.
In Parshat Vayechi, as we see Joseph “fling himself upon his father, weep and kiss him” when he dies, we are reminded of the emotional intensity in the space between physical presence and physical separation.
Usually, by about 3:00 a.m. my mind starts to race, and my sleep goes from fluid to restless. It’s as if my brain thinks the best time to have an epiphany or take stock of my life is sometime in the wee hours, when all I really want to do is sleep.
Just because we as humans have the power of rational thought doesn’t mean we should abandon our instincts. Sometimes it’s those deeply rooted feelings that provide us with the direction we need in the moment.