Saturday, April 20, 2013

Aviva Zornberg 2013 - Part 1

היום חמשה ועשרים יום שהם שלשה שבועות וארבעה ימים בעמר
Today is twenty-five days, which is three weeks and four days of the omer
נצח שבנצח
A day of perseverance in a week of perseverance

This morning I was at a teaching given by Dr. Aviva Zornberg--the first of three I will attend this weekend. She is such an incredible scholar and teacher. Each session she takes us on a journey, often winding in many directions, and yet always gets us back to the point. I am always left with new perspectives on these ancient stories.

Since this session was an after kiddush program on Shabbat, I could not take notes. That meant that for the first time I would just sit back and soak in her teaching in the moment--not knowing what would stick. The topic was "Murmuring of the deep . . . " and centered on Moses' inability/unwillingness to be the spokesperson for the Israelites.

What does it mean to speak for people--to be their spokesperson and/or to be their advocate. What is it to "hear one's voice," or hear another's. What stays inside, what comes out, what is the sound. What does our speech have to do with what we know/what we teach/what we share.

I'm still mulling over this right now. Running through my mind are some of her closing words. That not understanding something is the first step to understanding. It means, at least, that you are taking it in, that you are hearing the words and voicing your thoughts. Once that dialogue is open, the connections will come.

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