Shabbat Redux: Parsha Noah and More

Shavua tov (good week) friends.  I’ve decided to embark upon a new project.  Following Shabbat, I am going to

English: Shabbat Candles Deutsch: Schabbatkerzen

English: Shabbat Candles Deutsch: Schabbatkerzen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

blog about all the things I learned during this sanctified and blessed slightly more than 24 hours outside the realm of time.  We are told that Shabbat is to be a miqra kodesh, a holy convocation/rehearsal.  The director told us to mark our calendar because we have some lines to go over and blocking to become familiar with.  If we need to run through lines with other actors, he’ll get the message to them too.  I’ve concluded (for myself at least) that this does not mean that we must meet with a group of people to fulfill the purpose of the day, although this is not precluded.  For the first Shabbat, every man stood at the door of his own tent, all eyes upon Moshe as the cloud of divine glory covered him as he met with the Holy One of Israel who was revealed in the burning bush.  Our primary purpose is not to meet with others, but to show up for a scheduled, weekly audience with our eternal king, and if anyone wants to join us, they are welcome.

Today I studied the parsha and prayed for the well-being of my family.  I had a good talk with No. 2 son – no he is not second-rate, just younger 🙂  It felt like the added holiness of the day, or perhaps my entering into it a bit helped me to draw out what was really bothering my son, suspend judgement while listening and hopefully offer some advice that he may decide to apply at some future date.  I say, “may,” because everyone knows what teens are like.  If teenagers are known to be stubborn, Aspie teens take stubbornness to a whole new level.  No, it wasn’t nice when his older brother relayed that Joshua* puts the ass in Aspergers, but it was descriptive.

One thing I learned from reading a book about praying for your adult or thinks-he’s-adult child is that the hardest thing to do is forgive those who have hurt your children, including, or perhaps especially, the other parent.  I’m sure most of you find it easier to forgive someone who has harmed and wounded you than one who has injured or caused pain to your children.  That momma bear keeps wanting to rise up, and she really needs to go hibernate now that the cubs are grown, sort of.  Besides, it is far more helpful to support and guide them to resolve their own issues and handle their own problems than to provide them with a solution or fix it yourself.

My eyes were opened to the fact that while another person did some incredibly selfish and self-serving things in willful blindness as to the long-term suffering and harm to the kids, my reaction to that bad behavior actually had greater impact and caused more damage because I was the one around them all the time and the primary caregver that they were dependent upon.  But they have kindly forgiven me; at least they tell me so.

One time I asked the Holy One, “What is my problem?  What is it that trips me up, distracts and derails me?  The word came to me, “permeable.”  “You are just too permeable.”

(from Merriam Webster)  capable of being permeated :  penetrable; especially :  having pores or openings that permit liquids or gases to pass through <a permeable membrane> <permeable limestone

  1. The cell has a permeable membrane.
  2. <a permeable fabric that allows your body heat to escape will be much more comfortable in the summertime>
passable, penetrable, pervious, porous
Antonyms
impassable (also impassible), impenetrable,impermeable, impervious, nonporous
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When The Student is Ready, The Teacher Appears?

 

Although various forms of this quote are attributed to the Buddha and others, Barry

Popik, origins researcher extraordinaire, attributes it to an odd 19th century book written by an obscure follower of Theosophy who meant that an ethereal, “Ascended Master,” would appear from the great beyond.  So, let’s just get that out of the way because it isn’t what I want to discuss.

I suspect that when we reach a point of readiness and openness to learn more and grow further, heaven and earth move to connect us with the person(s) that can guide and spur us along the next leg of the journey.  We are not to grow too attached to them or treat them as middle-level management between us and our Creator, but we are to appreciate and honor what they bring to our lives, knowing at some point we may waive a fond farewell as there are different lessons we need to engage.

I knew a woman who told me, while sitting in the chiropractor’s office, the story of her and her husband’s courtship, if you could call it that.  Lena and Barry had been friends for five years and neither saw each other as having romantic potential.  Perhaps Barry secretly felt an attraction, but the shy, straight-as-arrow accountant was not the type to wear his heart on his sleeve or play the gallant, dashing suitor that bombshellish blonde Lena expected.  Lena had a tendency to be attracted to complicated, dysfunctional men, likely due to a similar childhood with an alcoholic and bizarre family.  She told me how her abusive mother wrote books and taught seminars on raising self-esteem in children, and even served on a local government board for this purpose.  Amazing what you could find out in the waiting room back in the days prior to modern technology.

Lena and Barry spent some time commiserating together over her latest heartbreak.  At some point, as if by divine miracle, Lena said her eyes were opened and she began to view Barry in a different light, as husband/father potential.  They got engaged two weeks later and were married in less than a month.  We used to get together for play dates, as our kids were about the same age, but once they moved we lost touch.

So perhaps, in a similar manner, the person(s) divinely placed in our lives to impart something of value to us are already in our sphere of relationships, but we haven’t yet recognized the role they are to play, until the right time.  Then the barriers to mutual attraction and understanding are broken down.  Sometimes they don’t look like, sound like or act the way we expect, and perhaps these people bring something unfamiliar and perhaps a bit discomforting to our complacency.  But we need it.  Desperately we need to be shaken awake, yanked out of slumber, and prepared for the coming day.

The night is far spent, and the day is close at hand.  Let us cast off the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:12.