By Rabbi Ellen Dannin for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities
A Curse Turned Blessing
I - maybe we - tend to think of Our Story as encapsulated in the exodus from Mitzrayim and the entry
into the Promised Land. But our story is more than leaving and arriving. Most of it is the story of living in the desert, of journeying, and of being on the way. And that certainly captures most of my life - and maybe our lives. Just as we want to skip over all those endless details of sacrifices, priestly vestments, sanctuaries, red heifers, and bizarre diseases, so too do we want to skip over or regard as of less interest the minutiae of each day. Between the high points, there is a lot of desert. Yet, can it be that what makes up the bulk of our lives is not worth paying attention to?
This week's parsha has one of the best stories of being on the way - the story of King Balak and Baalam. In fact, we remember this story in each service when we sing "Ma Tovu." This is a story of curses turned into blessings. And, surely, there is nothing more important for us than blessing in living through our personal "desert days."
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