This week, in the midst of Pesach, we return to the Book of Exodus. On Shabbat we read of Moses’ return to the top of Mount Sinai to create a second set of tablets while he has another opportunity to study with G-d.
Ultimately, these “whole tablets” will be placed in the Mishkan’s Holy of Holies, the most sacred place within the Tent of Meeting. Alongside them will be placed the first set of tablets, which were broken as Moses slammed them to the ground when he saw the people worshiping the Golden Calf. The “whole” will be set beside the broken for we learn from both our mistakes and our completed accomplishments.
Earlier this week, near the start of the seder, we took the middle matzah and broke it into two pieces while those at the table watched in silence. Towards the end of the seder we end our meal by each eating a piece of this broken matzah, a reminder, perhaps, that we must hold our feelings of brokenness as close as our feelings of success and joy.
Our morning prayers include a blessing for the study of Torah. In it we express gratitude for the ability to asok – to immerse ourselves in the words of Torah. Eating the afikomen at the end of our seder meal gives us the chance to do just that for as we fill ourselves we are offered a reminder that we must learn and work to find our wholeness.
Like our ancestors, may we learn from our successes and our mistakes and find G-d’s presence in our moments of wholeness and struggle. For, as we do so, we will find ourselves strengthened.
Prior to her position with the Grinspoon Foundation, Iris served as a synagogue educator in Syracuse NY, the Central New York PJ Library Program Coordinator and as a national consultant for PJ Library.
Iris holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, a master’s degree in Special Education and Reading, and Advanced Certification in School Leadership and Administration. Her experience as a secular educator and educational leader in congregational and community settings spans over 20 years. She is also a lay leader in Jewish organizations on the local and national levels. Iris served as the President of CAJE – the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education, which was the largest member organization for Jewish educators in the country.