Gratitude #23: Jewish Wisdom and Traditions. My two year journey of reading and learning about Jewish wisdom and traditions continues to amaze me. Whether I am reading a book, listening to a lecture or reading a devotional, I continue to learn more about the WORD (primarily the OT, but often insights into why Rabbe Yeshua) than I ever thought I would.
Today’s lesson is a good example. When I read Genesis, I get all caught up in the musical poetry of the creation of all things. I envision each thing as it is made and see it bloom and burst forth into reality as I know it. Night. Day. Land. Oceans. Plants. Animals. Humans. Then I read Chapter 2, not truly absorbing the words written. “… Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being…”.
Jewish Sages study each and every word, letter and mark of their Torah. They debate and pray and debate again. They debate the oral traditions passed down from other sages. It is what they do as they try to understand the WORD and the essence of Hashem Elohim. In their tradition, they believe that even though the Father had created plants on the third day, nothing (according to v.5) had grown yet. Now how come I never really noticed that discrepancy before? Plants were created, but they had not burst forth upon the surface? According to Jewish sages, the seeds remained underground waiting for prayer to bring forth the water. The first communication between a Father and His new born child brought water to the face of the earth. In that way, humans learned that prayer (communication) with God was an essential part of depending and trusting Him in all things.
Some gratitudes are harder to grasp than others and yet, it is in the struggling where we tend to learn the most. I’m still struggling with this one tonight, trying to absorb it and put it into words at the same time. But I know – as I continue to pray and re-read these words – that Hashem will hear and open my eyes a little wider, clean my dirty contacts and help me percieve the wisdom carried in His WORD. For that, and Jewish wisdom, I am thankful.