Shemot: "Names"
Exodus 1:1 - 6:1

A question

The mystery

Yet there are times answers are hidden within

Upon a hill a simple shepherd discovers a bush

The question exhales it is on fire

The mystery unmasks it does not burn

Flames rage from within its green leaves
yet there is no cinder or ash

A question indeed
and then a lone voice

Strange yet familiar
frightening but comforting

Listen

The man must listen

As the voice of fire calls him

To return to Egypt and there

Free the Children of Israel

"Yes, yes....I will go."

Again, the bush speaks

"Wait, me?"

Suddenly Moses' tongue is as much
on fire as the limbs of the bush

With questions spreading in immeasurable directions

"No one will listen."

The fire burns

"What do I say?"

The winds speak

"You want me to go back there?"

There is pause

"Okay...okay..wait...do what?"

In the silence he knows his reply

"Yes L-rd, I will go. I will do as you ask."

Another question
an ever-growing mystery

Rising in Moses' beating heart

Who sends the shepherd on?

With a fearful soul yet faithful journey

Why this is all so strange

Bushes that don't burn?

And sounds that echo in his warming heart

with the now comforting and freeing reply:

Told he shall do the Voice's wonders

"I Am, who I Am"

Rabbi Tad Campbell


(Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES