The moreh is interesting but the day grows longer. The dusty workingman beside me slumps over and begins to snore. The woman in the back of the synagogue gabble, as much to stay awake as anything else. Seeing this he says,
"we must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."
I smile at his double meaning. And it occurs to me that it is an odd custom to sit hardworking people down in a warm stuffy building with cushioned benches for hours at a time and then expect them to NOT fall asleep. You'd think the followers of the Nazarene carpenter would know better.
And speaking of Him - and thinking of Him - and listening of and from Him - and yes sometimes half-awake woolgathering about Him - that is the lure of the Sabbath to my living spirit, which brings me back week after week in a way that no commandment could impel my dead flesh. I love to hear first-person testimonies of Him whom I never met, and to hear of and sometimes even witness myself the signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit that he distributed to us, his Body, in the absence of his physical body. He is here. He is here. He is here, my brother Israelite Jesus Emmanuel, crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death for everyone, bringing many sons to glory.
And the moreh speaks aloud my thoughts:
"the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers."
So often I ask myself why my wife is sick, why I must tell my children no you cannot have that, there is no money; and why there are others even poorer and sicker and sadder than I. And I am comforted to know that to destroy the works of the dybbuk, even the Son of God had to learn to suffer as I do and worse. It is a mystery of God but I receive it as true that had Jesus not suffered, he could not have delivered others; perhaps this is true of his brother, too. Perhaps it is a family trait. And Jesus my brother - I am not ashamed of you, either.