Saturday, February 2, 2008

Don't Just Do Something - Sit There!

This past Shabbat we read Parashat Mishpatim. At the end of the parasha, we read in Exodus 24:12: And God said to Moses: Come up to Me into the mount and be there.

Rabbi Steven Lowenstein (the senior rabbi of Am Shalom) gave an interesting drash (comment) on this verse. He asked why would the text say "come up" and also "be there"? Isn't this extraneous?

Well, we know that nothing is extraneous in the Torah. So what is this text trying to teach us? That "being there" is so important. As he said in his drash, the expression "don't just sit there, do something" should perhaps be re-rendered as "don't just do something -- be there."

I thought this was so powerful and wise. How often do we run around the house picking up toys, folding laundry, doing dishes...when we could just sit and be.

I have this comic on my fridge from Baby Blues (my favorite comic strip)

Even though it says a lot about the difference between men & women (which is why I cut it out), I think it also serves as a reminder to me. Sometimes the right choice is to sit down first and clean up later. Sometimes the right choice is to take the "me time" -- the work will be there later.

Written as part of MamaBlogga's Group Writing Project for January. Wanna join in?


David A.M. Wilensky said...

Or perhaps the injunction is not just to show up, but to be really there, mentally present, and ready to receive.

Glad I found you blog. (and glad you found mine!)

Scribbit said...

I agree--and I love the me time. :) Every Monday and Tuesday morning it's all about a quiet house and hours to do what I want.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder cuz sometimes we just need to hear (again) that it's ok.

Anonymous said...

Great post!!!

And enjoy your baby's first!!

Stacy said...

Could that comic being any truer?? Sometimes I take a step back and just try to "be there" and not do something, too.

Jordan McCollum said...

As mothers we so often forget that we need to nurture ourselves first before we can nurture our children.

Thanks for the reminder to get that "me time" whenever we get the chance, instead of leaping to our feet to get a jump on housework!

Julie Arduini said...

Another Wrapped Emotions friend! I love the thought that verse explained brings. Reminds me of Mary versus Martha. One sister just sat, the other just did, did, did. I need to work on that!

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