And they Assembled

Rabbi Tamara Cohen has written this poetic midrash in the light of the Torah portion that is read tomorrow morning. It includes a passage about Moses’ calling the people to assemble, and saying that their gifts to build the portable House of the Holy Presence to be carried in the Wilderness have been enough, and they should bring no more.


And Moses said dayam, enough.

Enough: enough.

Stop, withdraw,

bring/do/perform/gather no more.


Let the silver glare of a silent sanctuary,

the gold blue of a plane-less sky

the garnet sheen of an empty concert hall

be our sacred offering,

meager gifts of absence from wise and less wise-hearted people.


Please God let our ceasing be enough.

Let our hospital beds be enough.

Let our slow awakening to the interconnectedness of every living being be enough

Let a pillar of stillness rest at the entrance to every home and prison.

Let this plague pass over us, enough of us.


Shabbat Shalom dear chaverim, far and wide.


Rabbi Cohen is the Chief of Innovation for Moving Traditions, a national organization focused on teens, gender, and Jewish identity where she spearheaded the creation of Tzelem, a group for transgender and non-binary teens. As an intern for The Shalom Center ten years ago, she wrote “Eicha for the Earth,” a Book of Lamentations for Temple Earth.

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