Oct 28, 2015

VaYeira 5776/2015: "Sermon of the Mount"

VaYeira 5776/2015: "Sermon of the Mount"

© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
originally published by Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Responsibility

At first I was frightened, but then I calmed down. (TB Shabbat 88a)

When the blood touched me, I trembled, shaken by the unwelcome contact. Even when they first climbed my most tortuous path (TB Shabbat 88b) with their ritual instruments, I knew something was wrong. I had felt pounding like this before. Every footstep was too heavy, pressing downnew pain into the memories just inches below my surface.

Since that very day I have witnessed many burdened lives, but they all remind me of the steps that Abraham and Isaac, along with their servants, took all those years ago. Those footsteps and that blood call out to be heard. (Genesis 4:10) But no one remembers that part.

All I am is accumulated memory, layer after layer of experience — from earth’s core to surface gravel. Only through stories do people today even think to explore my depths. But even if they do consider my hidden parts, they’ll never feel the roots of the shrub violently torn from my hold, first by the ram and then by the man’s hand. They’ll never feel the altar shatter from trauma, scattering shards and pebbles into the mix of my form. They’ll never know of the silence after the boy died at his father’s hand. No one will hear the boy gasp for his second first breath,or feel the father’s body convulse when his reborn son stared into his eyes.

People don’t know me. You don’t know me. You probably think you can buy, sell, claim, and name me. I have no need for a name. I have been here, and I will always be here. This boy’s was not the last blood spilled upon me, or for me. I have no need for that blood.

If you would only rest your head on me, listen to the quiet I’ve always held: There would be no more spilled blood.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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Chag Sukkot Sameach, dear friends.