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“Prophecy?” Rabbi Zecher’s Shabbat Awakenings

Friday, August 13, 2021

Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.

This week’s portion describes how a prophet would come to be for the Israelites after they had entered the land. Moses told the people:

The Eternal  your God will raise up for you a prophet from among your own people, like myself; him you shall heed…I will put My words in his mouth and he will speak to them all that I command him; (Deut 18: 15, 18)

After reading these words, I wondered what it would mean to be a prophet candidate.  Here are some of the qualifications and specifications I imagined would be necessary.

Candidate for prophecy?

  1. Wait until you are called. Those who thought they could just take the position usually end up being swallowed by the earth.
  2. Even when you are called, don’t accept it. Point out all of your deficiencies and ill-suited qualifications. Beg to make someone else God’s agent.
  3. The call of prophecy comes as a whisper, a voice so faint you might think you are hearing voices. Most likely, you are hearing voices.
  4. If you aren’t nearly as humble as Moses, don’t even think of pressing on.
  5. Are you disgusted with the lack of moral compass of those around you and feel that people have begun to worship themselves instead of the Holy One of Blessing? This is the well of dissatisfaction welling up within. You might get called back.
  6. When you lift your eyes to the mountains as Psalm 121 asks, where does your help come from? Does it come from God, Maker of Heaven and Earth? If not.  Forget about it.
  7. Are you imperfect?
  8. Are you unsure of yourself but certain of a path to righteousness?
  9. Do you know the difference between righteous indignation and self-righteous indignation? It is a very thin and dangerous line.
  10. Are you prepared to be rejected, ignored, yelled out, and thrown out of town? You could be a candidate.
  11. Remember, we are a kingdom priests not of prophets. Know your place and act accordingly.


Shabbat Shalom!


Connect with Rabbi Elaine Zecher HERE. I look forward to corresponding with you and to hearing your thoughts.