- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On April 24, 2020
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we make our way toward Shabbat. You can listen to it as a podcast HERE.
Sometimes the simplest instructions are the hardest to do.
This week we turn to the prophetic reading in II Kings 5. There we learn of the commander of the Aramean army, named Na’aman. His name meant faith, but he had none. Though a great warrior, he was stricken with leprosy. None of his power and position could help cure him. Then he discovered that a prophet in Israel could cure him of his disease. He set out with loads of silver and gold on his horses and chariots.
When he arrived he was stunned by the response. The prophet, Elisha, did not even come out to greet this powerful man. Instead, Elisha sent a message:
Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be pure. (II Kings 5:10)
This instruction shocked and angered Na’aman. He expected incantations accompanied by dramatic chants over his ailing body. Why did he need to travel a great distance when he had fine bodies of water in his own neighborhood? Naaman stalked off in a rage. (5:12)
His servants tried to reason with him.
Sir…if the prophet told you to do something difficult, would you not do it? How much more when he has only said to you, ‘Bathe and be pure.’ (5:13)
Reluctantly, Naaman immersed in the Jordan seven times and emerged pure.
The story ended with Naaman, known as the man of war becoming true to his name, a man of faith.
His transformation became realized when he was willing to do the direct task of simply bathing in the Jordan. His servants understood the human expectation that it should be more complex. Their reasoning set Naaman on the right path.
We, too, across America and the world were given simple instructions. Self-quarantine. For sure, complex and complicated issues accompany this directive. Nonetheless, the guideline is crystal clear for the impact it has had on containing this pandemic.
In ancient times, it might have been a prophet declaring the action. In our own day, it is the scientists and doctors who grasp the facts. Let us not forgo this simple instruction to quarantine. Without it, we will fare much worse and face difficulties not easily overcome. I have much faith in those who understand and abide by scientific reason and factual analysis and who have strongly recommended self-quarantine to continue.
I hope you do, too.
* * * *
* We will honor Cantor Einhorn in a lively and spirited virtual Shabbat experience with some mystery guests making cameo appearances! Please join us, hear some fun stories never told before, and experience the joy and delight Cantor Einhorn has brought to his work with the congregation. Services begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. and will end a little after 7:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing your face on the screen! We can pray together HERE on the Temple Israel website or HERE on Zoom or even HERE on TI’s Facebook page. Or just find it all on the website https://www.tisrael.org/TogetherWithTI .
*The Village gathers at 5:00 p.m. for a Shabbat story and blessings HERE.
*Riverway gathers from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. for Shabbat Re-Charge HERE.
*On Saturday morning, join us at 9:00 a.m. for a short Shabbat morning service and a lively discussion. To join the conversation interactively, access HERE to Zoom. You will be amazed by how well and easy it is to participate and comment. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
*Celebrate Shabbat as a family with TGIS with Wayne Potash at 10:00 a.m. HERE.
*Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m., we gather for Havdalah with the Clergy. Bring your favorite Mocktail/Cocktail. Join us interactively HERE on Zoom or watch along on the website HERE or on Facebook HERE.
How are you doing? Connect with me HERE.