Part of a yearlong series on Torah wisdom about building and builders.
In this week’s Torah portion, Bo, God instructs Moses (Ex. 12) about four practices they are to teach to the children of Israel. Encoded in these four instructions are four powerful lessons for building the Jewish future.
- All of us
Torah teaches that each household is to take a lamb. This isn’t something for only the wealthy to do, or only the Levites, or only the people who live in a certain part of town or dress a certain way or have certain politics or belong to a certain shul. This practice is for all of us. (And lest the cost of doing Jewish be too high, Torah stipulates that if someone can’t afford a lamb, they can go in with another family. What’s most important is that everyone participate.)
This echoes a theme from earlier in the parsha. When Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and again spoke the words of God’s demand, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me,” Pharaoh asked who would be the ones to go. Moses replied, “We will all go, young and old. We will go with our sons and daughters, our flocks and herds, for we must observe God’s festival.” (Ex. 10)
All ages and stages, and all gender expressions: the egalitarianism is striking. That’s the first building lesson in this week’s parsha. Each household is to take part. All of us, regardless of age or gender or sexual orientation or social station. Active engagement with spiritual life isn’t the rabbi’s job, it’s everyone’s job. The work of building the Jewish future requires all of us...
That's the beginning of my latest post for Builders Blog, a project of Bayit: Your Jewish Home, with sketchnotes by Steve Silbert. Click through to read the whole thing: All of Us, Going Forth, On Our Doorposts, Clearing Out: 4 Building Lessons from the Ritual of 4s.