Day to day, or not so often, musings and bemusings of a frum farmgirl, and mother living in Philadelphia and her family and homelife adventures.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Are you on a big fish?
The question the Rabbi brought out last night was why did Moshe Rabbeinu name his sons Gershom (I was a stranger in a foreign land) and Eliezer (The G-d of my father, came to my aid and rescued my from Pharaoh's sword.)? Apparently he was living a decent life in Midian with his wife, kids, and some sheep. Why give the children names that had to do with his past? Why not name them Simcha or Tov to reflect his life now?
So the answer comes to us from a story from the Gemara, tractate Bava Batra.
(These are from my notes not direct quotes, so the story is paraphrased.)
The Pardes Yosef tells the story (aggadah):
We were riding in a boat on very rough waters when we came across what appeared to be an island but was actually an enormous fish. We sailed the boat to the island/fish and got out. We immediately set up a campfire and began to cook. The fish then rolled over because of the heat and tossed us back into the stormy waters. Fortunately the boat was not too far away and we were able to swim back and pull ourselves back in to safety.
So now you may ask, 'What does this story have to do with the price of shwarma in Tel Aviv?' Well, I'll tell ya',that boat is Hashem (I think the Rabbi mentioned it was Olam Haba) but the safety of the boat is Hashem. The storm tossed waters are our lives and the fish, well that my friends is the galut, the exile. Here we are in the safety of our boat, managing to get through the tumultuous waters of life and we come across what looks like a pretty nice island. We suddenly think we found someting permanent, an island in the storm, and we immediately set up camp. We build our campfires, and then we build houses, we set up shop and then get down right comfortable. That is until the fish gets sick of us and decides to toss us from his back and then back into the waters we go! Thankfully our Boat is never too far from us, although we may have to swim like crazy to get there, the boat (Hashem) is always near.
Moshe Rabbeinu named his sons, Gershom and Eliezer because he understood this concept. He never forgot Who and where his home was no matter how 'comfortable' life in Midian may have been treating him.
So my two questions to all of us are:
1.Just how comfortable are we on this big fish we are riding?
I am Lover of my Beloved, Imma to my three blessings, a dreamer of dreams and maker of my home. I have homeschooled now for about 13 years and it is our way of life. I am a preschool teacher, doula, childbirth advocate, Jill-of-all-trades, Mistress of none and aspire to someday become the local village Wise Woman.