Exodus 21 – 24
א וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר תָּשִׂ֖ים לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃
ב כִּ֤י תִקְנֶה֙ עֶ֣בֶד עִבְרִ֔י שֵׁ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים יַעֲבֹ֑ד וּבַ֨שְּׁבִעִ֔ת יֵצֵ֥א לַֽחָפְשִׁ֖י חִנָּֽם׃
ג אִם־בְּגַפּ֥וֹ יָבֹ֖א בְּגַפּ֣וֹ יֵצֵ֑א אִם־בַּ֤עַל אִשָּׁה֙ ה֔וּא וְיָצְאָ֥ה אִשְׁתּ֖וֹ עִמּֽוֹ׃
If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself.
Behold, I go forward, but He is not there; Often in this life, there seem to be no answers for things that come our way or are there answers?
The Hebrew word for answer “עָנָה” means, to respond; make dependent.
How could I walk if I never fell? How would I know joy if heartache could not sometimes prevail? What would a perfect life be like? Only good and only me. Like a doctor who was created to heal, but never was there any ill. Like a craftsman with nothing to build. I chose to go forward even though He seems to be missing and evil seems to avail.
Hashem appointed each of us to be apart of Himself in this world and you would never see His hand unless you had seen someone made to stand. The reason for you and I is so that we might be the metaphor for His eyes and His hands and His legs and His feet in this world. For His miracles are with us evening, morning, and afternoon.
Midrash Tanhuma Tazria 5
The wicked Turnus Rufus asked Rabbi Akiva: Whose deeds are better – God’s or human beings’?
Rabbi Akiva replied: Human beings!
Turnus Rufus asked: Behold heaven and earth! Can a human being create such as these?
Rabbi Akiva replied: Don’t talk to me about things which are beyond a mortal creation’s ability and that we have no control of; rather ask about things that are found in humans.
Turnus Rufus asked him: Why are you circumcised?
Rabbi Akiva replied: I knew you were going to ask me that, therefore I pre-empted you and said that humans’ deeds are more pleasing than God’s.
Rabbi Akiva brought him sheaves of wheat and fresh-baked rolls, and said: These are God’s works and these are humans’ – are not these better than the sheaves?
Rabbi Akiva brought him raw flax and clothes from Bet She’an (known throughout the ancient world for their fine, delicate fabric and exquisite workmanship) and said: These are God’s works and these are humans’ – are not these better than the flax?
Turnus Rufus replied to him: If God desires circumcision, why doesn’t the baby leave the womb already circumcised?
Rabbi Akiva answered: And why is he also born still attached to the umbilical cord – doesn’t the mother cut the cord? And why isn’t the baby born circumcised? Because God gave Israel the Torah in order to shape them through fulfillment of the mitzvot.
More this week to come:
And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
9On the left hand, when He doth work, but I cannot behold Him,
He turneth Himself to the right hand, but I cannot see Him.
10For He knoweth the way that I take;
When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
11My foot hath held fast to His steps,
His way have I kept, and turned not aside.
12I have not gone back from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured up the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.
13But He is at one with Himself, and who can turn Him?
And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth.
14For He will perform that which is appointed for me;
And many such things are with Him.
15Therefore am I affrighted at His presence;
When I consider, I am afraid of Him.
16Yea, God hath made my heart faint,
And the Almighty hath affrighted me;
17Because I was not cut off before the darkness,
Neither did He cover the thick darkness from my face.