In this week’s Torah portion, Shemot, upon gazing on the burning bush, Moses said, “I must turn aside to look at this marvelous sight; why doesn’t’t the bush burn up?” (Ex. 3:3) This precious verse is one of the few times we can hear the inner dialogue of Moses.
If you saw the burning bush, what would have been your inner dialogue? Throughout the Torah, there are marvelous miracles that we can gain strength from just through their powerful imagery. These moments are those that we capture in art, film, song and prayer as well. The parting of the sea, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the burning bush are just 3 examples of moments with a picture we can embrace in times when we need hope, healing, and strength.
I have the great honor of often standing at our beautiful ark at KI. When you join me, you see the work of artist, George J. Kreir, who created the gold panels alongside the ark. These panels were moved from Keneseth Israel on Broad Street to remain with us in Elkins Park. Here is the panel of the Burning Bush:
Many times when I stand with younger children, they like to touch the panels and ask questions about the stories they embody. This art only makes the moments at the ark more divine and connected for us all.
Especially in the darker days of winter and with rising Covid numbers, I am praying for you all to stay safe and healthy. The next two Friday night Shabbat services will be on Zoom (Meeting ID: 839 1629 8623) and Stream Spot, to keep us all physically distant but spiritually close. Gain strength from the moments of hardship and the moments of awe we have had as a people. Remember awe, fear, and faith can all exist in the moments of the unknown. Hold these images in your heart, and know that we will get through this together from strength to strength.
Cantor Amy E. Levy