In the Jewish faith, it’s truly fascinating to ponder why God chose to give the tablets to the Jewish people in the desert at Sinai. Why not wait until the Jews reached the homeland? Why did this happen in such an isolated space?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers a beautiful explanation; he explains that it was given in ‘no man’s land’ so that anyone who chooses is welcome to live by its tenets– not just the Jewish people. Judaism makes it clear that you don’t have to be Jewish to go to heaven, rather you must live by the ten commandments, and live as a kind, loving human being. As the sage Hillel said so poignantly, “Treat others how you want to be treated, the rest is interpretation.”
There is something additional to the desert, in that it’s in nature and it offers a silence which isn’t offered in cities– especially since the industrial revolution.
The most important quality about Sinai was listening, keeping quiet, and truly hearing the words of the Almighty.
Nature is given to us as a gift to connect to our souls and truly listen. In nature, it’s easier to pay attention to our needs and wants and how we achieve them– not the imposed needs and wants of society. We can then head back to society with a refreshed and clear path to our goals.
This leads to the ultimate gift we can give others, which is truly listening. This is something that is quite difficult to do. Most of the time, we are so busy being concerned with our responses that we forget to listen, yet it’s when we listen that we connect, we seek to understand, and we allow others to be heard just as we allow ourselves to be heard when we listen in nature.
This week, let’s take a walk in nature. Head to the ocean, a park, a forest, anywhere that allows us to listen to our souls, so that we can seek outside ourselves for divine guidance.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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