Shabbat Service is a weekly bit of Torah-inspired do-gooding, brought to you by Repair the World and our grantee-partner American Jewish World Service (AJWS). Read on to see how these ancient stories can apply today. Seem far fetched? Check it out:
The story: This week’s parsha (Torah portion), Ki Tisa features the dramatic story of the Golden Calf. Moses is still up on Mount Sinai and has received the Ten Commandments. God breaks the news that the Israelites have panicked in his absence and begun to worship an idol. God is, understandably, angry and let’s Moses know that he plans to let his “anger blaze forth against them,” and “destroy them.” Moses pauses before answering God – perhaps listening, and perhaps not sure what to say. Eventually he responds by saying, “Let not Your anger, O Lord, blaze forth against Your people, whom You delivered from the land of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand.”
The takeaway: Moses’ response is curious. Why does he not speak up right away? Is there doubt in his own heart? Does he care about the Israelites, but not know how to advocate on their behalf? Whatever the reason, Moses hesitates to make his voice heard on an issue he cares about. Sounds familiar, right? We have all had moments where we felt passionate about something, but failed to spring into action – or waited for an invitation to become involved.
The “to-do”: Learn to rise above your hesitations and speak up for what you believe in! Take a public speaking course or participate in a leadership training to learn tips and gain confidence in your ability to express yourself. Learn how to write an effective letter to Congress, or how to craft an op-ed for a publication. Then take a deep breath, focus yourself, and speak up!
Read the full Torah commentary, on which this excerpt is based, over at AJWS’ website.