“Feels right to me.”
“Sounds OK to me.”
“Looks good to me.”
Different people experience the world in different ways. The Torah has them all, but this week’s portion seems to be all about vision:
“It will cover the eye of the earth so that no one will be able to see the earth.”
The locusts are not the same plague as darkness, but they created darkness.
Even Pharaoh joins the theme:
“See, there is evil in your destiny!”
The plague of darkness.
“Go from me! Beware – do not see my face any more, for on the day you see my face you shall die!”
“Moses was very great in the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh and in the eyes of the people.”
The first Mitzvah given to Israel as a nation is the Sanctification of the New Moon, which is all about seeing: where to see it? How you saw it? The shape you see….etc. etc.
“And God will see the blood that is on the lintel and two doorposts…”
There is a great deal of “seeing” in the Moses story;
“They saw that he was good.
“Moses saw the burning bush.”
“God saw that Moses turned to look.”
But one verse, one moment, stands out: “And the people believed, and they heard that God has remembered the Children of Israel and that He saw their affliction, and they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves.”
They did not bow because they believed that God has appeared to Moses.
They did not bow because God would take them out of Egypt.
They bowed because they believed that God saw their affliction.
The bowed and prostrated themselves because they believed that God was paying attention to them. He had been hiding for so long that they believed that He had stopped looking at them, caring for them, thinking of them.
Moses’ appearance as God’s messenger meant one simple fact: He was looking at them. He saw them. He cared. That was all they needed.
If that was so important to them; they too would have to learn to see, to pay attention, to care.
We often complain that God is hiding. Are we really looking?
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