Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Haftorah Beam - VaYikra

This parsha, opening the book of Leviticus, is about connection with G*d.  But what happens when the connection is disrupted? The haftorah addresses this theme with G*d bemoaning the people disconnecting from the divine, and in turn reaching out to reconnect even as the people stray.

כה  אָנֹכִי אָנֹכִי הוּא מֹחֶה פְשָׁעֶיךָ, לְמַעֲנִי:  וְחַטֹּאתֶיךָ, לֹא אֶזְכֹּר.25 I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake; and thy sins I will not remember.
כו  הַזְכִּירֵנִי, נִשָּׁפְטָה יָחַד; סַפֵּר אַתָּה, לְמַעַן תִּצְדָּק.26 Put Me in remembrance, let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

Memory plays an interesting role in establishing connection.  The sins/transgressions are not remembered, but the other (in this case, G*d) is remembered for His own sake.

Likewise, watching the progression of justice in these two verses we see that first G*d forgives, then G*d and the people judge together, so that at the end the people may be justified.

Without dwelling on whether we are to see ourselves in the role of G*d or the people, this seems to be a recipe for conflict resolution and reconnection between individuals:

1. Forgiveness of offenses.  This, counterintuitively, benefits the forgiver rather than the forgiven.
2. Actually forgetting unimportant offenses (letting go of grudges), which paves the way to move ahead.
3. Remembering the other for his/her own sake, and especially, seeing the other as the image of G*d
4. Building a common narrative, by
5. Listening to the other's point of view, and
6. Seeking to see the merit therein

Let us keep this recipe in mind as we find disconnections in our life and seek to heal them.

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