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"Giving and Taking."

“Giving and Taking.”

At Mount Sinai the Jewish nation assembled as,

“One person with one heart.”

We were unified in such a way and had prepared appropriately such that we were able to experience a huge revelation of God.

God spoke the first 2 of the 10 commandments.

The people were completely overwhelmed by the experience.

The Midrash teaches that after each intense encounter with God “speaking” to us,

every Jew “died” and had to be revived.

The encounter was so intense that we couldn’t survive it.

In response, Moses was given the task of

ascending the mountain to get

the rest of the 10 commandments and the Torah.

The revelation at Sinai was like a “kiss” from God:

an intimate contact with everyone present.

At that time, God gave us the gift of connection and

then gave us the gift of the Torah in order

to have an ongoing relationship with us in the future.

In any relationship,

we must be able to not only give but also to take.

God, the quintessential giver, initially gave

in a way that was too overwhelming for us to survive.

Perhaps this can teach us the importance of

recognizing the capability of the receiver to receive.

On the one hand, we need to make ourselves worthy of and

able to receive God's gifts and blessings and

at the same time recognize that our capacity is limited.

In our lives, in different relationships and at different times

we fluctuate between being givers and being takers.

A giver needs a receiver, and a receiver needs a giver.

Both are needed and the balance shifts over time and within each relationship.

In our own lives this is certainly the case:

our healthy relationships are

predicated on us being able to sometimes give and

sometimes receive (in the right measure).

In fact, by receiving, we give the gift of allowing the other to be the giver.

We may think of God as always being the giver and

yet by receiving we are able to ‘give’ back.

Let us be able to find the correct balance so that we can achieve

healthy, meaningful, mutually loving and

intimate relationships with others and of course with God

Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh Tov and Chag Sameach.


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