Manage episode 366103605 series 3143119
What character in the Hebrew Bible says, “kill me now”? What character is so burnt out, so dark inside, so spent, so worn down, that he does not want to live any more and literally says “kill me now”?
The answer is Moses in our reading this morning. Usually the Torah says nothing about its characters’ interior lives. When God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham says hineni, here I am, ready to do the deed. What was he thinking? What was he feeling? The Torah does not say.
In stark contrast, in today’s reading, upon hearing the Israelites complain for the umpteenth time, upon hearing their revisionist history that they used to eat fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic for free in the land of Egypt, upon hearing their demand for meat when there was no meat to be had, Moses finally lets God have it:
And Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You dealt ill with Your servant,
and why have I not enjoyed Your favor, that You have laid the burden of all this
people upon me? Did I conceive all this people, did I bear them…I cannot carry
all this people by myself, for it is too much for me. If You would deal thus with me,
kill me now, I beg You, and let me see no more of my wretchedness.
We need to pay attention to this passage. Moses had an interior life, and his interior life was not being tended to, and as a result, he was in a deeply dark place. What is true for Moses is true for all of us. We all have interior lives. Jewish language for that is neshamah, soul. We all have a soul. And we need to tend to our soul lest we become burnt out, anxious, depressed.